- Platform affordances and data practices
- The value of dispute on Wikipedia
- Big Data & Society
- Volume | Issue number
- 3 | 1
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
In this paper we introduce the device perspective as a methodological contribution to platform studies. Through an engagement with debates about the notion of affordances, which focus on the relation between the technical and the social, we put forward an approach to study the production of data within platforms by engaging with the material properties of platforms as well as their interpretation and deployment by various types of users. As a case in point, we study how the affordances of Wikipedia are deployed in the production of encyclopedic knowledge and how this can be used to study controversies. The analysis shows how Wikipedia affords unstable encyclopedic knowledge by having mechanisms in place that suggest the continuous (re)negotiation of existing knowledge. We furthermore showcase the use of our open-source software, Contropedia, which can be utilized to study knowledge production on Wikipedia.
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