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Central European Journal of Communication

Central European Journal of Communication

Scientific Journal of the Polish Communication Association

You are here: Home > Browse Journal > Volume 17 No 1 (35) Special Issue 2024 > Futures of algorithms and choices: Structuration of algorithmic imaginaries and digital platforms in Europe

Futures of algorithms and choices: Structuration of algorithmic imaginaries and digital platforms in Europe

Miloš Hroch
Charles University, Czech Republic

Panos Kompatsiaris
IULM University, Italy

Volker Grassmuck
Leibniz Institute for Media Research Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI), Germany

José Moreno
MediaLab CIES – University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal

Lutz Peschke
Bilkent University, Türkiye 

Jan Jirák
Charles University, Czech Republic

Debashmita Poddar
Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy


The increasing impact of algorithmically driven processes on human societies, which can exacerbate political, economic, and cultural asymmetries, raises questions about reducing human agency by constraining platform structures. We draw on the theoretical concept of algorithmic imaginary, which captures users’ appropriations and ideas of these processes. In this paper, we focus on the dynamics between agency and structure in algorithmic imaginaries regarding the future of digital media platforms in Europe. The paper takes structuration theory as a theoretical starting point and employs methods of futures studies to analyze how the future is constructed in scenarios developed by a diversity of experts participating in a series of workshops. The future scenarios analysis is mapped around four actors, namely platform users, platform corporations, algorithms and institutions. By considering the role of various actors, particularly institutions, and their interdependencies this paper contributes to more balanced conceptualizations of algorithmic imaginaries, which tend to be centered around users’ perspectives.

Full text:

DOI: 10.51480/1899-5101.17.1(35).707

KEYWORDS: Algorithmic imaginary, platformization, construction of the future, structuration theory, platform capitalism