Further, ignorance of how digital technologies work, how users’ online activities can be used to the advantage of the platform owners or sponsors without the users’ knowledge, and, indeed, how the internet appears to be structured so as to encourage people who enter it to confine their browsing to opinions they already accept, is not always well understood. Similarly, how people make sense of the voluminous amounts of information online is not straightforward. The sheer extent of online information necessitates its ‘pre-curation’, or filtering, by algorithms before it is consumed by online users. Yet, ignorance of how digital technologies and online platforms do this has resulted in ritua- lised practices of digital literacy which must be examined critically and not taken for granted as mere everyday online practice. As we shall shortly demonstrate, some forms of ritualisation are necessary, and relate to how an online user accords epistemic trust to actors (e.g. teachers, search engines) as they seek information for learning and knowl- edge production. But an exploration of students’ ritualised practices with digital media can help uncover asymmetrical relations of power in moments of digital literacy and where, and how, epistemic trust is being granted.
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