For You, or For"You"? Journal Article uri icon



  • Online communities provide spaces for people who are vulnerable and underserved to seek support and build community, such as LGBTQ+ people. Today, some online community spaces are mediated by algorithms. Scholarship has found that algorithms have become deeply embedded in the systems that mediate our routine engagements with the world. Yet, little is known about how these systems impact those who are most vulnerable in society. In this paper, we focus on people's everyday experiences with one algorithmic system, the short video sharing application TikTok. TikTok recently received press that it was suppressing and oppressing the identities of its growing LGBTQ+ user population through algorithmic and human moderation of LGBTQ+ creators and content related to LGBTQ+ identity. Through an interview study with 16 LGBTQ+ TikTok users, we explore people's everyday engagements and encounters with the platform. We find that TikTok's For You Page algorithm constructs contradictory identity spaces that at once support LGBTQ+ identity work and reaffirm LGBTQ+ identity, while also transgressing and violating the identities of individual users. We also find that people are developing self-organized practices in response to these transgressions and violations. We discuss the implications of algorithmic systems on people's identity work, and introduce the concept of algorithmic exclusion, and explore how people are building resilience following moments of algorithmic exclusion.

publication date

  • January 5, 2021

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • January 30, 2022 11:09 AM

Full Author List

  • Simpson E; Semaan B

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2573-0142

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 34


  • 4


  • CSCW3