"The Algorithm"
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"The Algorithm" was built by Alia ElKattan and Lujain Ibrahim, of Decifer Studio, through the generous support of The Mozilla Foundation's Creative Media Award.

It would not have been possible without the contributions of these incredibly talented people:

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"The Algorithm" aims to demystify recommender systems for the broader public. It is a part of our larger mission to leverage creative coding and web-based experiences to build public literacy of emerging technologies. To delve deeper into the topic, please check out our resources section, or contact us.



The Algorithm was built following a research period, during which we synthesized the relevant literature from across computer science, law, policy, and the social sciences, and attended conferences such as the Algorithmic Amplification Symposium.

We then wanted to build a first-person experience that uses the format people engage with these algorithms in (i.e., a video-based social media feed) as the medium. To create a feed that would be usable by people of different demographics, we used p5.js animations of different aesthetics (e.g., emoji, 3D, text-based), colors, speeds, and shapes.

Using code-based animations allowed us to both change the meta features to create personalized content as well as multiply our animation pieces into a larger number of content pieces. Throughout the experience, our "algorithm" keeps track of what style, shape, color, and speed the user interacts with, and adjusts its recommendations accordingly.

Our code repository is open-source on GitHub, and we encourage people to use it as they wish.



Our hope is for "The Algorithm" to be a first step to getting more people acquainted with recommender systems, leading to both further engagement and similar projects deconstructing other technologies. We built "The Algorithm" with an explicitly educational purpose in mind, and are looking forward to building lesson plans, workshop templates, and other educational material around it.