An algorithm is simply a pattern or protocol, referring to how things get done. If a Web page references your personal information

An algorithm is simply a pattern or protocol, referring to how things get done. If a Web page references your personal information


Assignment: How Algorithms Change Our World View

An algorithm is simply a pattern or protocol, referring to how things get done. If a Web page references your personal information and past viewing habits, the algorithm or protocol will be to serve up more of the same to capture your attention. As the system selects some information for you, it ignores other information that you never get to see or consider.

From the old days of journalism, a saying applies: “If it bleeds, it leads,” meaning that violent and tragic stories frequently lead the headlines, even if they are rare. The system selects these stories to get the most attention from the viewing audience. Repeated emphasis on violent stories day after day can make you perceive the world as more violent and dangerous than it really is and alter your perceptions. If one group is consistently portrayed as delinquent, violent, and/or dangerous, the viewing public can come to view them in that way, even if it is not an accurate depiction of what that same audience observes in their own community day in and day out.

Since this selection process often occurs without you even knowing about it, it can limit your range of awareness—as well as your world view. Mass media is a powerful force in our lives, and the depictions and portrayals can contain subtle or overt prejudice and bias.

In this Assignment, you consider this process, its impact, and how you can take steps to counter act its influence.

To prepare for this Assignment: 

  • Read the “Communication Program Professional Writing Guidelines.”
  • Read “Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age.”
  • Read “How Algorithms Skew Your World View.”
  • Watch Challenging the Algorithms of Oppression.
By Day 7

Write a 2-3-page paper that addresses the following:

  • Describe how algorithms affect media consumption.
  • Explain how algorithms can shape your world view.
  • Give examples of two different ways algorithms are harmful to society. 
  • Explain how you might change your own patterns of use to combat the effects of algorithms. 

Please Note: Be sure to reference at least one scholarly or popular source to support your answers.

Questions about this Assignment? Post them in the Contact the Instructor area. That way, everyone in the class will see, and benefit from, the Instructor’s response. 

Submit your Word document into the assignment area. Make sure that you address the question prompts for this assignment. 

Refer to the Week 3 Assignment Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment  for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment  using the naming convention “WK3Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 3 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Application.
  • Click the Week 3 Assignment  link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK3Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
Grading Criteria
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