Algorithmic conspirituality: Explicating its emergence, dimensions, and persuasibility

Shaheen Kanthawala, Kelley Cotter, Amy Ritchart, Ankolika De, Haley McAtee, Connie Yun, Julia DeCook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Algorithmic conspirituality is the belief that social media algorithms have the capacity to know users intimately and convey personally meaningful messages at the exact right moment to revelatory effect. Through a thematic analysis of TikTok videos, this study explicates this concept by identifying five distinct dimensions of its expression on TikTok—(1) relational, (2) injunctive, (3) personal, (4) spiritual, (5) conspiratorial—and explaining their relationship with the platform’s affordances—(1) connectedness, (2) personalization, and (3) social creativity. We then connect the emergence and impact of this phenomenon to the possibility for persuasion and behavior changes through normalization of messaging in areas such as mental health, smoking, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and body dysmorphia that could lead to positive and negative health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNew Media and Society
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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