DOI: 10.1177/14614448231193093 ISSN:

Algorithm dependency in platformized news use

Nadja Schaetz, Emilija Gagrčin, Roland Toth, Martin Emmer
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Communication

Previous research has highlighted the ambiguous experience of algorithmic news curation whereby people are simultaneously comfortable with algorithms, but also concerned about the underlying data collection practices. The present article builds on media dependency theory and news-finds-me (NFM) perceptions to explore this tension. Empirically, we analyze original survey data from six European countries (Germany, Sweden, France, Greece, Poland, and Italy, n = 2,899) to investigate how young Europeans’ privacy concerns and attitudes toward algorithms affect NFM. We find that a more positive attitude toward algorithms and more privacy concerns are related to stronger NFM. The study highlights power asymmetries in platformized news use and suggests that the ambivalent experiences might be a result of algorithm dependency, whereby individuals rely on algorithms in platformized news use to meet their information needs, despite accompanying risks and concerns.

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