This essay examines affordances of algorithmic profiling interfaces and their potential for forming collectives. These interfaces form groups through a logic of inclusion and exclusion analogous to linguistic we-discourses, resulting in an “algorithmic we-interpellation.” Aided by algorithmic profiling, social media interfaces are able to interpellate large groups to stand behind a cause and even to mobilize them to topple a government. However, and despite their promise to the contrary, such interfaces struggle to facilitate the kind of “shared foundation” that would be necessary for collectives in which belonging means, not inclusion into a collected set, but being part of a shared process.

You do not currently have access to this content.