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Bots, bespoke, code and the materiality of software platforms
Abstract This article introduces and discusses the This article introduces and discusses the role of bespoke code in Wikipedia, which is code that runs alongside a platform or system, rather than being integrated into server-side codebases by individuals with privileged access to the server. Bespoke code complicates the common metaphors of platforms and sovereignty that we typically use to discuss the governance and regulation of software systems through code. Specifically, the work of automated software agents (bots) in the operation and administration of Wikipedia is examined, with a focus on the materiality of code. As bots extend and modify the functionality of sites like Wikipedia, but must be continuously operated on computers that are independent from the servers hosting the site, they involve alternative relations of power and code. Instead of taking for granted the pre-existing stability of Wikipedia as a platform, bots and other bespoke code require that we examine not only the software code itself, but also the concrete, historically contingent material conditions under which this code is run. To this end, this article weaves a series of autobiographical vignettes about the author's experiences as a bot developer alongside more traditional academic discourse.gside more traditional academic discourse.
Abstractsub This article introduces and discusses the This article introduces and discusses the role of bespoke code in Wikipedia, which is code that runs alongside a platform or system, rather than being integrated into server-side codebases by individuals with privileged access to the server. Bespoke code complicates the common metaphors of platforms and sovereignty that we typically use to discuss the governance and regulation of software systems through code. Specifically, the work of automated software agents (bots) in the operation and administration of Wikipedia is examined, with a focus on the materiality of code. As bots extend and modify the functionality of sites like Wikipedia, but must be continuously operated on computers that are independent from the servers hosting the site, they involve alternative relations of power and code. Instead of taking for granted the pre-existing stability of Wikipedia as a platform, bots and other bespoke code require that we examine not only the software code itself, but also the concrete, historically contingent material conditions under which this code is run. To this end, this article weaves a series of autobiographical vignettes about the author's experiences as a bot developer alongside more traditional academic discourse.gside more traditional academic discourse.
Bibtextype article  +
Doi 10.1080/1369118X.2013.873069  +
Has author Geiger R.S. +
Has keyword Algorithms + , Robot + , Code + , Materiality + , Tool + , Wikipedia +
Issn 1369118X  +
Issue 3  +
Language English +
Number of citations by publication 0  +
Number of references by publication 0  +
Pages 342–356  +
Published in Information Communication and Society +
Title Bots, bespoke, code and the materiality of software platforms +
Type journal article  +
Volume 17  +
Year 2014 +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 6 November 2014 14:57:08  +
Categories Publications without license parameter  + , Publications without remote mirror parameter  + , Publications without archive mirror parameter  + , Publications without paywall mirror parameter  + , Journal articles  + , Publications without references parameter  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 6 November 2014 14:57:08  +
DateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 2014  +
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