the fashion systems’ (algo) • rhythmic gaze
de-mystifying algorithms’ propagandistic core & its influence on the consumers’ digital agency
Listening to my classmates discuss their findings I noticed that a lot of the advertisements being shown were similar to the ones being shown in my own social media feed. With a background in digital marketing, I am already familiar with the fact that competing for visibility is expensive. The price tag associated with serving an ad renders it exclusive and only available to marketers with big budgets. Even though the way the generic adverts are served can be slightly tweaked to appeal to the consumer’s interest, consumers have only limited access and knowledge of products. Marketing is once again just an example of how the 99% vs 1% split impacts experience. Our impressions of the world or online content are based around global trends in specific areas rather than unique interest. I used the new ‘IT’ platform TikTok to make my videos. My work takes on the feel of Black Mirror episodes to reflect how manipulated and helpless we are.
Browse Instagram under 3 different accounts, with unique demographics, using my VPN to change the geo-location. I was interested in what Instagram would recommend. I used the words loves.fashion in the emails created for my test subjects to see if it would influence the content at all.
The content recommended didn’t necessarily fit with my idea of the person and their profile. Instagram seemed to recommend content and profiles that were trending globally.
USER 1: Volmer Hempen
18 year old
Account: 2 days old
Instagram recommended the accounts for some major SM influencers. The fact that he was browsing from the Netherlands had little impact, as the same accounts were recommended for my Japanese user. I did find it interesting that pictures of pregnant women popped up for an 18-year-old.
USER 2: Mio Yamada
28 year old
Account: Brand new, haven’t acted on account at all.
This user had not followed any accounts. The discovery tab recommended only content based around the theme ‘TRAVEL’. I know this is one of the most popular Instagram trends.
USER 3: Lianca van der Merwe
38 year old
A few years old
This account of course reflects my personal interest. Even though I follow tattooist and their accounts, I was surprised by how much content for this topic popped up. It doesn’t accurately reflect my interesters in this subject. Also, without knowledge of my age and interests, this content might appear to be for a younger audience.