The Hacker’s Way: Global Social Networks and Hacked Communications
Keywords:social network (Facebook), communication and algorithmic management, content moderation, experts, hackers
Drawing on technology media reviews and public discourse available to researchers, the text aims at the problems of “hacked” communication in global social networks. For reasons of practical convenience, the case of Facebook is chosen and some of the controversial metaphors and rhetorical figures of speech regulation or content moderation are highlighted. The popular heterogeneous image of the hacker (“breaker”) is chosen to describe the rapid and unscrupulous processes of digital innovation. However, the change in reputation also becomes an important element. Don't be afraid to experiment, i. e. “move fast and break things” (to use the famous phrase of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg) – not so long ago was the motto that inspired start-ups in the tech world. On the other hand, the problems of cleansing public discourse, the need to “nurse” unhealthy communication spaces and the challenges of “repairing” unpredictable algorithms, which illustrate political troubles since 2016, suggest that the problems of algorithmic management (not just algorithmic governance!) should be addressed in a more radical way. With experts becoming critical public intellectuals, exposing toxic digital interfaces between individuals and groups, and with society and politicians seeking to slow down the rapid flows of divisive algorithmic communication, the need for greater involvement of grassroots 'healers' and civil society in the processes of content moderation is required. In this context, the analysis of the public communicative space in social networks through images and metaphors can be meaningful for future public (electronic) communication.