Cancelled The ABC of Digital Lives: Algorithms, Bots, and Community (SUMMER 2022)

Course content

Our contemporary lives are increasingly pervaded by digital platforms whether they appear as distinct entities, such as TikTok or Instagram, or as seamless extensions of our offline lives, such as Airbnb or Wolt.

While early evangelists of the internet saw in these platforms the realization of the democratic ideal and culturally conservative pundits decried them as the downfall of civilization, it seems clear now that what these platforms mean for our societies and our digital lives depends on how they are designed and how we use them.

In this course, students will gain fundamental understandings of the principles underlying both the supply side–e.g. who designs platforms, for what purposes, and with what effects–and the demand side–e.g. what do people use the platforms for, how does their behavior interact with platform design.

After successful participation, students will be familiar with the fundamental sociological insights into digital platforms, people’s behaviors on these platforms, and how both affect our contemporary societies. This will enable them to be informed consumers and contributors to current debates on monitoring and regulation of digital platforms.


Elective course.

Course package (MSc 2015):

Knowledge, organisation and politics

Culture, lifestyle and everyday life

Learning outcome

At the end of this course the students are able to:



  •  account for the origins and developments of the digital platforms pervading contemporary lives
  •  describe the influence of both demand- and supply-side factors affecting the growth and pervasiveness of digital platforms



  •  evaluate the potential societal impact of specific digital platforms and the regulations that govern them
  •  convey current debates surrounding digital platforms to non-specialized audiences



  •  transfer insights from existing digital platforms and regulations to emerging trends and interventions
  •  independently acquire further specialization to investigate novel developments surrounding digital platforms, their impact, and regulation

- Lectures
- Class discussions
- Student presentations

Readings are comprised primarily of peer-reviewed journal articles. All other materials will be provided through Absalon.

This is an introductory course requiring no prior qualifications beyond an interest in a critical approach to the role of digital platforms in our contemporary lives.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
  • Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
  • Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
  • Structured feedback to student presentations
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, -
Individual/group (max. 4 students).
Free written take-home essays are assignments for which students define and formulate a problem within the parameters of the course and based on an individual exam syllabus. The free written take-home essay must be no longer than 10 pages. For group assignments, an extra 5 pages is added per additional student. Further details for this exam form can be found in the Curriculum and in the General Guide to Examinations at KUnet.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see the learning outcome.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 118
  • Exam
  • 60
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Bachelor choice
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

Summer School 2022

Week 33:
Monday 10-13
Tuesday 10-13
Wednesday 10-13
Thursday 10-13

Week 34:
Monday 10-13
Tuesday 10-13
Wednesday 10-13
Thursday 10-13
Friday 10-12 + 13-15
Vejl. 40 personer
Department of Sociology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Sociology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Friedolin Merhout   (8-70776f7c72797f7e4a7d796d38757f386e75)

Friedolin Merhout, e-mail:

Saved on the 22-04-2022

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Courseinformation of students