New research article: The Public Service Approach to Recommender Systems

Hildén, Jockum (2021). The Public Service Approach to Recommender Systems: Filtering to Cultivate. Televison & New Mediahttps://doi.org/10.1177/15274764211020106

Online media consumption has been radically transformed by how media companies algorithmically recommend content to their users. Public service media (PSM) have also realized the potential of recommender systems and are increasingly using these technologies to personalize their online offering. PSM are on the other hand required to disseminate diverse content, which can be incompatible with the logics of commercial recommender systems that primarily seek to drive up media consumption. Drawing on previous research on selective exposure and media diversity, this study presents the results from interviews with ten PSM informants across Europe, revealing that data scientists within these organizations are highly aware of the effects recommendations have on media consumption, and design the PSM online services accordingly. This study contributes with in-depth knowledge of how diversity has been interpreted at operational levels in PSM and how recommender systems are being adapted to a non-commercial setting.

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