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Following Searle on TwitterHow Words Create Digital Institutions$
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Adam Hodgkin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226438214

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226438351.001.0001

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Twitter’s Constitution and Twitter’s Shape

Twitter’s Constitution and Twitter’s Shape

(p.114) 7 Twitter’s Constitution and Twitter’s Shape
Following Searle on Twitter

Adam Hodgkin

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the distinction between the basic SFDs which are the acts of members of Twitter and the SFDs which belong to the institution as a whole, systemic SFDs. The basic SFDs are effective in building Twitter’s network and aggregating the content through tweets; there are however additional, systemic, SFDs available to Twitter that are actions/functions performed by the institution as a whole. In particular the SFDs through which Twitter changes its functionality and deploys new software, and the SFDs, automated and delegated to the Application Programming Interface (API), through which Twitter is able to interact with other institutions. As Twitter has grown it has acquired a degree of independence and holds a position of responsibility in relation to the individuals and other digital institutions in its environment. Organic metaphors, of cellular networks or coral reefs, have some purchase.

Keywords:   constitutive, basic SFDs, systemic SFDs, granularity, API, RSS

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