The algorithm is not my boss anymore: Technological appropriation and (new) media strategies in Riders x Derechos and Monaska

This paper studies how a group of delivery workers in Barcelona were able to organize a successful traditional and a social media strategy in order to claim for their rights as waged workers. They created a union, RidersxDerechos, and they also decided to create a worker’s cooperative, Mensakas, with their own application and algorithm. We will study how they were able to re–appropriate technology and to use digital communities to spread alternative discourses. We have used different methodologies: traditional content analysis in Media, debate analysis in Social Media, qualitative ethnography. We noticed that RidersxDerechos access to media was very successful (300 piece of news analyzed) thanks to strikes and court trials, facilitating a change of perspective in the treatment of platform economy in Media. Media were following up the digital entrepreneurship rhetoric until then. Along with the traditional media strategy they developed a diversified communicative pathway in social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Goteo) that helped them to establish alliances with riders from other cities and countries. We focused on more than 25.000 tweets. Finally, they proposed a new way to use technology by creating their own app and algorithms for their working cooperative, Mensakas. Crowdfunding was also used to fund it and to spread an alternative working storytelling from Silicon Valley’s.

Fernandez, Aina; Barreiro, Maria Soliña. (2020). 'The algorithm is not my boss anymore: Technological appropriation and (new) media strategies in Riders x Derechos and Mensakas.' Contracampo – Brazilian Journal of Communication, 39 (1), p. 65-83, April-July.

Metadata

  • Research publication
  • Spain
  • Yes
  • transport
  • On-location platform-determined routine work
  • mensakas
  • algorithm, employment status
  • Spanish
  • Contracampo - Brazilian Jonuel of Communication
  • Qualitative research, Quantitative research
  • 2020
  • Open access
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