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This shaping is accomplished in part through eliding the tensions among the various meanings of .For example, You Tube can tout itself as an egalitarian political platform where users can express themselves while also indexing content in ways that make some videos (like those deemed sexually suggestive) more difficult to find and providing access to media conglomerates to take down content they see as violating copyright (357-359).In 2015, the mobile gay male dating and hookup app Grindr began a shift in its marketing, technological infrastructure, and interface: While the app remained a “gay dating app” in much of its marketing and uses, it also become a “platform” in an attempt to generate revenue through advertisers and partnerships and to broaden the app’s usefulness for users.
In order to explore the rhetoric of platforms as it plays out with Grindr, I draw loosely on the heuristic Brooke develops in .Through its platform rhetoric, You Tube draws on disparate and potentially conflicting meanings of the concept—a computational platform that can be built upon, a political platform to speak from, an architectural platform to build on, and so forth (349-352)—to then promote itself as “a progressive and egalitarian” site for self-expression (350) and court advertisers and media producers (355).Gillespie argues that through this platform rhetoric, You Tube helps to “[shape] the contours of public discourse online” (358).Thus, I attend to both Grindr’s discursive construction as a platform and its computational infrastructure as a platform. and a software interface for machine consumption,” through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) (4).Following Anne Helmond, platforms as computational infrastructure (2), changing the architecture of sites and apps so that they have two interfaces: “a user interface for human consumption . Importantly for my brief analysis here, Grindr’s redesign and rhetoric of “platform” do affective work to help to constitute and reaffirm certain types of gay identity.
concept used to shape rhetoric about digital spaces and to shape practices in those spaces.