Desegregating Network Neighborhoods

To understand what causes echo-chambers and polarisation within social media networks, this project will focus on three fundamental concepts that ground current network models: homophily, weak ties, and agent-based spatial modeling. These paradigms all have significant ties to the history of U.S. residential segregation. In this project, we also analyze how specific cultural notions of neighborhood relations have entered the algorithms of today's global online platforms as principles of similarity, and how these platforms are reorganizing everyday life within urban spaces. Here, they analyse how specific cultural notions of neighbourhood relations have entered the algorithms of today's global urban spaces, as well as how data aggregators, technology companies, digital platforms, and other institutions profile and cluster individuals and communities, while also 'marking' individuals with few to no portal credentials' as the "data poor."

This combined approach enables a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of default network connections; a richer grasp of what networks and agent-based modeling both elucidates and obscures (community, racism, legal structures, etc.); deeper knowledge of why and how these models work; and the beginnings of an outline of other modes of connection.