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Benjamin Jacobsen



  • PhD in Sociology, University of York
  • MA in Culture, Society and Globalisation, University of York 
  • BA in English Language and Literature, University of York

Benjamin Jacobsen is a Lecturer in Sociology. He moved over to sociology after doing an undergraduate degree in English Literature in 2016 and completed his PhD in December 2020.

After a six-month post as Associate Lecturer, he became a Postdoctoral Research Associate on prof. Louise Amoore’s ERC-funded project ‘Algorithmic Societies: Ethical Life in the Machine Learning Age’ at Durham University in 2021.

In September 2023, he joined the Sociology department at University of York as Lecturer. In addition, Benjamin is an editorial board member on the journal The Sociological Review and continues as a Visiting Fellow in the ‘Algorithmic Societies’ project. 


Selected publications


Jacobsen, B. and Beer, D. (2021). Social Media and The Automated Production of Memory: Classification, Ranking and the Sorting of the Past. Bristol: Bristol University Press. 

Peer-reviewed Articles

Jacobsen, B. N. The Logic of the Synthetic Supplement in Algorithmic Societies. Forthcoming in Theory, Culture & Society. 

Jacobsen, B. N and Simpson, J. (2023). The tensions of deepfakes. Information, Communication & Society. 1-15.  

Amoore, L., Campolo, A., Jacobsen, B. N., and Ludovico, R. (2023). Machine Learning, Meaning Making: On Reading Computer Science Texts. Big Data & Society. 1-13.  

Jacobsen, B. N. (2023). Machine learning and the politics of synthetic data. Big Data & Society. 1-12.   

Jacobsen, B. N. (2022). ‘You can’t delete a memory’: Managing the Data Past on Social Media in Everyday Life. Sociological Research Online. 27(4): 1003-1019.   

Jacobsen, B. N. (2022). When is the Right Time to Remember? Social Media Memories, Temporality, and the Kairologic. New Media & Society. 1-17.  

Jacobsen, B. N. (2021). Regimes of Recognition on Algorithmic Media. New Media & Society. 1-16.  

Jacobsen, B. N. and Beer, D. (2021). Quantified Nostalgia: Social Media, Metrics and Memory. Social Media + Society. 1-9. DOI: 10.1177/20563051211008822. 

Jacobsen, B. N. (2020). Algorithms and the narration of past selves. Information, Communication & Society. 1-16.  

Jacobsen, B. N. (2020). Sculpting digital voids: The politics of forgetting on Facebook. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. 27(2): 357-370. 



Benjamin’s research broadly examines the ethicopolitical effects of data, social media platforms, and machine learning algorithms on society and culture.

He is currently working on three principal research strands: firstly, he examines the emergence of synthetic data and how they are reconfiguring the condition of possibility for machine learning and ideas of ethics; secondly, the intersection of algorithms, social media, and memory in everyday life; finally, how algorithmic systems are transforming visual culture as well as what is made visible.  

Contact details

Benjamin Jacobsen
Department of Sociology, LMB/216A
University of York
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD