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  1. Virtues for Agents in Directed Social Networks.Mark Alfano - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    In the age of the Internet, people have increased access to information along multiple dimensions. It might seem that we are on our way to an epistemic utopia in which we spend less time and effort on basic cognitive tasks while devoting more time and effort to complex deliberation. However, though there are many accurate sources on the Internet, they must be sifted from the spammers, concern trolls, practical jokers, conspiracy theorists, counterintelligence sock-puppets, and outright liars who also proliferate online. (...)
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  • Technologically scaffolded atypical cognition: The case of YouTube’s recommender system.Mark Alfano, Amir Ebrahimi Fard, J. Adam Carter, Peter Clutton & Colin Klein - 2020 - Synthese:1-24.
    YouTube has been implicated in the transformation of users into extremists and conspiracy theorists. The alleged mechanism for this radicalizing process is YouTube’s recommender system, which is optimized to amplify and promote clips that users are likely to watch through to the end. YouTube optimizes for watch-through for economic reasons: people who watch a video through to the end are likely to then watch the next recommended video as well, which means that more advertisements can be served to them. This (...)
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