The main objective of this paper is to describe and analyze the high cultural density and ideological character of the Big Data phenomenon. The technical nature of computational models and the affirmative logic of algorithmic culture conceal the functioning of the mechanisms, simultaneously symbolic and ideological, that contribute to structuring Big Data. As data, it represents the result of an intricate process of construction, imagination, and interpretation. On the other hand, the role played by powerful technological corporations and by a specific form of neoliberal state highlights only the exchange value of Big Data, the production of which is aimed to fulfil commercial and surveillance needs.
Antonio Di Stefano, Big Data, Webs of Significance, Datafication, Algorithmic Culture, Surveillance in "SOCIOLOGIA E RICERCA SOCIALE " 109/2016, pp. 54-69, DOI:10.3280/SR2016-109006