Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

Social Media and the Automatic Production of Memory

Classification, Ranking and the Sorting of the Past

By Ben Jacobsen and David Beer

Published

Apr 1, 2021

Page count

128 pages

ISBN

978-1529218152

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Apr 1, 2021

Page count

128 pages

ISBN

978-1529218169

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Apr 1, 2021

Page count

128 pages

ISBN

978-1529218169

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Social Media and the Automatic Production of Memory

Social media platforms hold vast amounts of biographical data about our lives. They repackage our past content as ‘memories’ and deliver them back to us. But how does that change the way we remember?

Drawing on original qualitative research as well as industry documents and reports, this book critically explores the process behind this new form of memory making. In asking how social media are beginning to change the way we remember, it will be essential reading for scholars and students who are interested in understanding the algorithmically defined spaces of our lives.

"This book illuminates how our memories are formatted by the interfaces of social media. Jacobsen and Beer have written an insightful analysis of what ‘technologies of memory’ look like in data-driven societies." José van Dijck, Utrecht University

"Jacobsen and Beer’s book is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the automatic production of memory on social media. This book is one to be remembered and revisited time and again." Taina Bucher, University of Oslo.

Ben Jacobsen is a researcher based at the University of York.

David Beer is Professor of Sociology at the University of York.

Introduction: Unpicking The Automation Of Memory Making

A Taxonomy Of Memory Themes: Partitioning The Memorable

The Computational Surfacing Of Memories: Promoting The Memorable

The Reception Of Targeted Memories In Everyday Life: Classificatory Struggles And The Tensions Of Remembering

Conclusion: Sorting The Past