Abstract: This thematic issue invited submissions that address the opportunities and controversies related to algorithmic influence in a digital society. A total of 11 articles address how the use of algorithms has changed communication in various contexts, and cover topics such as personalized marketing communication, self-tracking for health, political microtargeting, news recommenders, social media algorithms, and urban experiences. The articles also include a wide variety of methods such as surveys, experiments, expert interviews, computational methods, and theoretical work developing frameworks and typologies. They are all united by one central question: How have algorithms and artificial intelligence changed communication, for both senders and receivers? We believe that the collection of topics and methods provide new insights into the different perspectives regarding algorithmic-driven communication—highlighting both the opportunities and challenges—and advance the literature with new findings, frameworks, and typologies.
Keywords: algorithms; automated decision making; communication; digital divides; health trackers; media personalization; online privacy; political microtargeting; recommender systems; transparency