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Computer Ethics - Philosophical Enquiry (CEPE) Proceedings

Conference Section

Lived Experiences of Technology

Publication Date

5-30-2019

Document Type

Paper

DOI

10.25884/thbh-z535

Abstract

Given the increasing encroachment of Twitter into offline experience, it has become necessary to look beyond the formation of identity in online spaces to the ways in which identities surface through the formation of affective communities organized through the use of technocultural assemblages, or the platforms, algorithms, and digital networks through which affect circulates in an online space. This essay focuses on the microblogging website Twitter as one such technocultural assemblage whose hashtag functionality allows for the circulation of affect among bodies which “surface” within the affective communities organized on Twitter through their alignment with and orientation by hashtags which serve as “orientation devices” to direct some bodies towards some affective communities and not others. Thus, this paper contends that “Asian Twitter,” “Black Twitter,” “Academic Twitter,” and other such “twitter territories” can only be identified through the ways in which they circulate affect through the technocultural assemblage that is twitter, and are thus identifiable by an affect that circulates through the territories and sticks to the members of those territories. This affective politics of twitter can provide an inroad into understanding the formation of online communities as an affective construction mediated through the technocultural assemblages of the platform of Twitter.

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