Editorial Issue Seven

This latest, somewhat overdue, issue of Computational Culture addresses draws together several different areas of research. The bulk of the articles in this issue of Computational Culture address apps and appification. Whilst the discussions by the seven contributions to this section of the issue are wide-ranging and testify to the plurality of ways of addressing …

App-ed Out: Logics of Success and Failure in App Stores

Introduction ‘Tweets coming soon.’ ‘All movements have a beginning.’ These were the first two tweets published to the AppDeveloperUnion (@AppDevUnion) twitter account. They were published on Jun. 7, 2012, strategically timed a few days before Apple’s annual WorldWide Developers Conference. A dozen or so other tweets came from the account over the next four days, …

Regramming the Platform: Infrastructural Relations between Apps and Social Media

Introduction In May 2018, Instagram announced a new feature for users to share feed posts to their own Instagram Stories.1 This practice of ‘resharing’, as Instagram calls it, had already been introduced over six years prior in a third-party app called Regram,2 a popular app with over 500,000 downloads addressing the platform’s lack of support …

Dating Apps and Data Markets: A Political Economy of Communication Approach

Introduction Numerous and widely used, dating apps collect and connect detailed personal data across platforms. They have therefore been responsible for integrating intensive modes of personal data collection and computational decision-making into intimate social life, and, in parallel, for integrating these personal and intimate modes of communication into the platform-dominated digital media environment’s logics and …

Infrastructures of Intimate Data: Mapping the Inbound and Outbound Data Flows of Dating Apps

A Data Infrastructure Approach to App Studies In early 2018, as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook limited the types of data that third-party apps could access through its application programming interfaces (APIs). 1 Facebook one-sidedly implemented a new data governance model, 2 limiting access to the personal information – such as relationship …

Policing through Platform

Introduction The relationship between mobile technologies and policing in the United States is not a new one. In-car computers and scanners, hand-held recording devices, radios and cameras have been deployed in the field for decades. The last decade has been characterized by a steady rise of networked information technologies and resources that have co-constituted new …

Less Mutable, More Mobile: The Role of Twitter Apps in the History of the Retweet Button

Introduction Twitter is not only a platform for the circulation of all kinds of messages; it is simultaneously an interface that makes this very activity explicitly visible. It is a highly reflexive infrastructure, as it automatically produces dynamic accounts of its infrastructural activity. I assume that these accounts are in no way a secondary, ex-post …

Infrastructure of Vision: Envisioning the Future through Market Devices

Introduction Since Frank Rosenblatt’s Perceptron – a neural network processing ‘[visual] inputs impinging directly from the physical environment’1 developed between 1957 and 1961 – computer vision has been a defining function of machine learning. While the Perceptron never reached the level of accuracy at image classification tasks that its military funders were hoping for, the …

Section Editorial: Critical Approaches to Computational Law

Introduction The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, Regulation (EU) 2016/679) came into effect on 25th May 2018. The GDPR revises and extends the previous Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC) of 1995 but also introduces new areas of regulation relating to algorithmic processing and what it calls “Automated individual decision making.”1 Since the spread …

Software As Dispute Resolution System: Design, Effect and Cultural Monetization

Introduction Many artists are dependent on popular audiovisual distribution platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion and others. While Vimeo requires a paid subscription for fast streaming,1 Youtube has, until now, the largest participation since it offers free service for high speed streaming, (nonetheless with the insertion of advertisements). The platform has more revenue plans, …

Algorithmic Legal Reasoning as Racializing Assemblages

Introduction Predictive analytics use a variety of techniques (e.g., statistical methods, machine learning algorithms) to make predictions about future events. 1 Although predictive analytics have been used in many disciplines since the early 20th century (e.g., actuarial science, business intelligence, financial forecasting), increasingly, this computationally intensive technique has been employed by law enforcement and other …

Throbber: Executing Micro-temporal Streams

Loading webpages, waiting for social media feeds, streaming music, movies and other multimedia content are mundane activities in contemporary culture. Such mundane activity includes the involvement of network-connected devices from fixed desktop computers to portable tablets and smart watches, all involving data transmission and distribution across multiple sites—referred to as data. In these scenarios, data, …

The Socio-Technical Background of an Unconventional Software Architecture in OpenStreetMap: Understanding the Implementation of ‘Folksonomy’

1. Introduction From the 1960s onwards, analogue cartography has been rapidly and comprehensively replaced. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were progressively developed to capture, process, analyze, and map digital geodata 1. With the emergence of the interactive internet, digital geoinformation and cartographic representations are undergoing another fundamental transformation 2. This transformation is often labeled with the …