Media Sociology discussions about censorship quite understandably usually focus on various forms of human agency – whether this relates to areas like:
While these forms of censorship are important and interesting a slightly different dimension that might be worth introducing into the mix is that of algorithmic censorship, for two main reasons:
1. It’s an aspect of New Media that clearly demarcates it from Old Media, in the sense the former introduces a new, more widespread and more-pervasive form of censorship.
2. It involves the automation of censorship that gives the appearance of non-censorship. To understand how this works in terms of the various forms of censorship that develop when software is programmed to pick-up or demote different types of news story on sites such as Facebook, this article should help to illustrate this idea.
Alternatively, this article on algorithmic filtering, of the type consistently and repeatedly carried-out by social media sites like Facebook and YouTube, adds an interesting Gramscian twist to the analysis your students might find illuminating.