Understanding the Power Behind Spam, Noise, and Other Deviant Media
Media Distortions is about the power behind the production of deviant media categories. It shows the politics behind categories we take for granted such as spam and noise, and what it means to our broader understanding of, and engagement with media. The book synthesizes media theory, sound studies, science and technology studies (STS), feminist technoscience, and software studies into a new composition to explore media power. Media Distortions argues that using sound as a conceptual framework is more useful due to its ability to cross boundaries and strategically move between multiple spaces—which is essential for multi-layered mediated spaces.
Drawing on repositories of legal, technical and archival sources, the book amplifies three stories about the construction and negotiation of the ‘deviant’ in media. The book starts in the early 20th century with Bell Telephone’s production of noise, tuning into the training of their telephone operators and their involvement with the Noise Abatement Commission in New York City. The next story jumps several decades to the early 2000s focusing on web metric standardization in the European Union and shows how the digital advertising industry constructed web-cookies as legitimate communication while making spam illegal. The final story focuses on the recent decade and the way Facebook filters out antisocial behaviors to engineer a sociality that produces more value. These stories show how deviant categories re-draw boundaries between human and non-human, public and private spaces, and importantly, social and antisocial.
- About the author
- About the book
- Advance Praise
- This eBook can be cited
- 1 Introduction: Listen Closely
- Don’t Be Evil! But I’m Not!
- Conducting Processes
- Three Distortion Stories
- Structure of the Book
- 2 Orchestrating Media Power through Sound
- Re-processing Foucault
- Sound as a Conceptual Framework
- Processed Listening: Producing Knowledge in Mediated Spaces
- Rhythmedia, or Orchestrating Sociality
- Mediated Territories
- Mediating Bodies
- Come to the Dark Side, We Have Cookies
- Conclusion: What’s in the Mix?
- 3 Noisy Behaviors on the Line
- The Noise Abatement Commission in Early 20th Century New York City
- Mapping City Noise
- No Deal on the Street
- Selling (the) Telephone
- Shutting Street Noise
- Controlling (the Other) Street Rhythm
- Quieting Noisy Women
- Connecting Bodies
- Designing the Communication Line Model
- Personal Immediacy
- The Human Information Processors
- A Design for Living
- Silencing Dissent
- Conclusion: Noise Against the Machine
- 4 Fabricating the European Union Safety Net
- Opening the ‘Back-End’
- Governing Softly
- Baking Cookies into the Ecosystem
- Inventing Private and Public Spaces
- Lobbying to Spam
- Composing the Data Subject
- Standardizing Metrics
- Bodies that Count
- Bidding for Real-Time
- User Control to Control Users
- Keep Your Body Safe
- Conclusion: Brave New Web?
- 5 Engineering the (anti)social
- Filtering the Unwanted Using Four Mechanisms
- Modulating Architecture
- Who Listens to You?
- Channeling through Your Friends
- Amplified Listening Capacities
- Every Breath You Take I’ll Be Listening to You
- Ordering Algorithms
- Money, Sorted
- Standardizing the Digital Advertising Industry
- Naturalizing Organic Feed
- Maintaining the Immune System
- You Better Work
- Clicking Machine
- Excessive Behaviors
- Asking As If It Matters
- Listening: The Silent Actions that Count
- Majority Report
- The Human Processors
- Filtering the Rubbish
- Feed the Panel
- Conclusion: Fileting the Rhythms of Anti-Sociality
- 6 Conclusion: Transducing the Deviant
- The Power of Sound
- Creating a Dynamic Database with Processed Listening
- Deviant Order: How Rhythmedia Orchestrates Sociality
- Series Index
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Carmi, Elinor, author.
Title: Media distortions: understanding the power behind spam, noise, and other deviant media / Elinor Carmi.
Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2020.
Series: Digital formations, vol. 121 | ISSN 1526-3169
Includes bibliographical references.
Identifiers: LCCN 2019030952 | ISBN 978-1-4331-6691-4 (hardback: alk. paper)
ISBN 978-1-4331-6693-8 (ebook pdf)
ISBN 978-1-4331-6694-5 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-6695-2 (mobi)
Subjects: LCSH: Information technology—Social aspects. | Mass
media—Social aspects. | Spam (Electronic mail)—Social aspects. |
Classification: LCC HM851 .C3667 | DDC 302.23—dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019030952
Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.
Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie” detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/.
This open access publication was funded by the University of Liverpool.
The online edition of this publication is available open access. Except where otherwise noted, content can be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0). For details go to http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
© 2020 Elinor Carmi
Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York
29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006