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Session Overview
Creators 2
Friday, 04/Nov/2022:
1:30pm - 3:00pm

Session Chair: Zoë Glatt
Location: EQ-002

150 seat lecture hall

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Hanne Marleen Stegeman1, Thomas Poell1, Brooke Erin Duffy2, Emilija Jokubauskaitė1, Kelley Cotter3, Olav Velthuis1, Colten Meisner2

1University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 2Cornell University, USA; 3Pennsylvania State University, USA

This panel examines the tension between visibility and invisibility in the platform-creator relationship with a focus on highly precarious areas of cultural production, including online sex workers, body activists, and LGBTQ+ content creators. Together, the panelists consider: what kinds of creators are made visible on platforms? Conversely, who remains invisible? How do platforms and their algorithms afford (in)visibility to marginalized and stigmatized creators? How do these groups resist top-down (in)visibility regimes? Finally, how do such (in)visibility regimes challenge or reaffirm other forms of social marginalization? Primarily drawing on interviews with creators on a variety of social media and webcam sex platforms, the panelists examine the complex dynamic between visibility and invisibility. The first paper studies the role of algorithmic labor and capital in the wider hierarchies that structure the contemporary creator economy. In turn, the second paper further develops this inquiry, studying how people of size grapple with their datafied presence and develop strategies for safely navigating algorithmically mediated hyper(in)visibility. The third paper focuses on performers on webcam sex platforms, showing how these performers engage with visibility beyond that provided by platform algorithms, while simultaneously seeking invisibility, where possible. Finally, the fourth paper—drawing on an interface analysis of 50 high-traffic webcam sex platforms—analyzes the information and affordances available to performers. Taken together, the panelists show how platforms shape the kinds of (in)visibility afforded to precarious laborers, while also showing how they seek to resist this erasure and challenge the vulnerabilities of being “seen.”

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