In my opinon in today’s world, developments in technology and innovations brought about by algorithms have led to a change in society. Algorithms are everywhere. While the devices, social media platforms, web pages, face recognition systems we use are managed by different systems at the back, there is only one concept that creates the logic of all of them: the algorithm.

How are algorithms shaping our culture? We can give dozens of examples of this. I want to give a few examples about this.

Algorithms Are Watching Us

Companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Youtube collect data by tracking the movements of consumers. As a result of this data, the algorithm shows products similar to the product that consumers look at. This is also used to create recommended lists and create recommended ads.

As someone who works as a digital marketing trainer at Facebook, I can say that Facebook doesn’t just watch whose pages you enter. Let’s examine how this happened. Facebook, via Messenger and Facebook Lite apps can access data. When you log in to one of these two apps with the android mobile device, you can download saved “contacts”, conversations and SMS message traffic in the device guide. Facebook offers you, for example, “friendship” through the “people” app registered in your contacts.

I’ve tried it. Facebook offered me contacts registered in my phone book ( people whose names I’d even forgotten) as “recommended friends.”

One of the companies collecting data on Google. When I look at shoe sites on the internet, the news I read shows those shoes as an advertisement. Two days ago, I saw an ad that I linked from my gmail account in suggested advertisements on a website I opened randomly.

This is not limited to this only. Now I want to continue my article by telling you about an event that surprised me. I read about an incident in England last year. The incident was the first job interview with artificial intelligence. How does this happen? The software I’m talking about analyzes the words and tone of voice used by the candidates entering the interview, and also records the facial expressions of the candidates when answering the questions asked.

Capitalism and Algorithm

In this digital age, where almost the entire world uses social networks, different forms of capitalism have emerged. This was done using algorithms. The ‘Social Credit’ system in China is an important example for the algorithmic community. Due to the social credit system, the Chinese Government will monitor the virtual and real lives of citizens and score their legal and moral compliance. This also deprives low-credit citizens of transport, housing, work and various basic human rights. According to a newspaper, China’s social credit system is already affecting people’s lives. I describe this situation with the “panopticon” phenomenon. We are under surveillance with algorithms.

This incident raises a question. Do dystopias come true?

Originally published at on October 28, 2020.

This page contains blog posts by journalist Melissa Feza Katlar about digital culture as part of a project.