The Collective Effect

Two very interesting closing comments at the end of the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie’s appearance before the digital, culture, media and sport committee in the House of Commons.

  1. People in charge of investigating and regulating data need to understand how relational databases, machine leaning etc. work. At present, they don’t! (Christopher Wylie)
  2. There’s been too much focus on the individual level of psychological profiling. It’s not about using psychographics to influence how individuals vote, it’s about a “collective effect,” like the spreading of rumours. They are easier to generate. The impulse to share information. Only Facebook can look into that! But they seem to have a blind spot on it (Paul-Olivier Dehaye).

About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. A former musician, he studied computer technology and cultural theory before receiving a PhD in sociology from the University of Essex. His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, due 2018). He is organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK, a co-founder of Club Critical Theory and Director of the EmotionUX Lab at UEL. He occasionally blogs at: Full academic profile:
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