Cyborg Lesbians: The Algorithm’s Role in Lesbian Personal Narratives

Molly McBride (University of Oregon)

This paper explores the folklore of Lesbian TikTok, how it constitutes lesbian identity, and how it reveals understandings of the algorithms on which the platform operates. Several forms of personal narrative have cycled through the Lesbian community on TikTok, including ones that highlight “The Algorithm’s” role in knowing a user is a lesbian; e.g. The Algorithm knew the user was a lesbian before the user did. Through the reiteration of these types of personal narrative, Lesbian TikTok is a site of cyborg lesbian identity construction and performance, informed by both self-knowledge and artificial intelligence.

Part of 14-05 Lesbian Digital Archives: Virtually Curating and Creating Queer Desire and Community, Monday, October 18, 2:15 pm–3:45 pm