João Carlos Magalhães

João Carlos Magalhães

PhD Researcher

Department of Media and Communications

About me

Research topic

Civic Voice and Imaginaries of Algorithmic Visibility during the Brazilian Political Crisis

João Carlos Magalhães' research concerns the political and ethical implications of the algorithmic systems which structure digital platforms. More specifically, he looks into how the regimes of visibility made possible by these systems, when imagined by "ordinary" users, are associated with the construction of these users' civic voices. João's empirical entry point into these problems is the current Brazilian political crisis, and how it has transformed the possibilities of citizenship in that country, triggering a massive and polarised wave of politicisation on and through Facebook. He is also keenly interested in Internet governance (particularly in the regulation of algorithmic systems) and in debates about the future of journalism.

Supervisors: Dr Alison Powell and Professor Robin Mansell


Before starting his PhD, João received a MSc degree (Distinction) from the LSE Department of Media and Communications, with a dissertation on Brazil's "Internet Bill of Rights". Previously, he studied journalism and history and worked as an editor, reporter and correspondent at "Folha de S.Paulo", Brazil's leading newspaper, writing mostly about politics, public policies and human rights. His work was recognised by, among others, the ExxonMobil Awards and the Inter American Press Association Excellence in Journalism Awards. His doctoral research is supported by a LSE PhD Studentship.

Expertise Details

critical studies of algorithms; political subjectivity; qualitative methods; Brazil


Peer-reviewed journal articles

Magalhães, J.C. (2018 Do algorithms shape character? Considering algorithmic ethical subjectivation. Social Media + Society.

Cammaerts, B., DeCillia, B., & Magalhães, J. C. (2017). Journalistic transgressions in the representation of Jeremy Corbyn: From watchdog to attackdog. Journalism. DOI: 1464884917734055.

Articles under preparation for submission

Anstead, N., Magalhães, J.C., Stupart, & R., Tambini, D. Facebook advertising in the 2017 United Kingdom General Election: The Uses and Limits of User-Generated Data.

Araújo, W., & Magalhães, J.C. Me, myself and “the algorithm”. How Twitter users employ the notion of “the algorithm” as a self-presentation frame.

Magalhães, J.C., & Yu, J. (2017). Algorithmic visibility – Elements of new regime of visibility.

Professional report

Cammaerts, B., Decilia, B., Magalhães, J.C., Jimenez-Martínez, C. (2016). Journalistic Representations of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Press. Retrieved from 

Blog entries

Tambini, D., Anstead, N., & Magalhães, J.C. (2017). The final days of Labour’s Facebook GE2017 campaign. Retrieved from

Tambini, D., Anstead, N., & Magalhães, J.C. (2017). Is the Conservative Party deliberately distributing fake news in attack ads on Facebook? Retrieved from

Tambini, D., Anstead, N., & Magalhães, J.C. (2017). Labour’s advertising campaign on Facebook (or “Don’t Mention the War”). Retrieved from

Tambini, D., Anstead, N., & Magalhães, J.C. (2017). How the Liberal Democrats are using Facebook ads to court ‘remainers’. Retrieved from

 Magalhães, J.C. (2017). Will a different Brazil emerge from its political crisis? Retrieved from

 Magalhães, J.C. (2016). Have the mass media fuelled Brazil’s turmoil? Retrieved from

Magalhães, J.C. (2014). A curious case – The Brazilian Internet Bill of Rights. Retrieved from

Magalhães, J.C., Lubianco, J. (2014). Argentinian law highlights tensions between government and the media. Retrieved from

Van der Spuy, A., Magalhães, J.C. (2014). ICANN50: Just Olympics for geeks or steps towards global governance? Retrieved from

Master’s dissertation

Magalhães, J.C. (2015). Critically imagining Internet governance: A qualitative content analysis of the Marco Civil da Internet public consultation. Media@LSE MSc Dissertation Series 2014

Journalistic publications (selected)

During my career at Folha de S.Paulo, I published more than 1,000 journalistic articles. An exhaustive list of them can be found here:

Conference presentations

Doctoral Summer School, Oxford Internet Institute

“’The algorithm is like an interaction’: Sociomaterial imaginaries of Facebook’s visibility regime.” Oxford, UK (2018).

ICA 2018 (peer-reviewed, with Jun Yu)

“The moral paradox of recognition on algorithmic social media.” Prague, Czech Republic (2018). 

Workshop on social media and micro-targeting, University of Perugia

“Facebook advertising in the 2017 United Kingdom general election: The uses and limits of user-generated data”. Perugia, Italy (2018).

ECREA Symposium Digital Democracy: Critical Perspectives in the Age of Big Data (peer-reviewed).

“My Lovely seless Facebook bubble: Ambiguous perceptions of algorithm-driven political homophily and the emergence of a liminal political recognition in Brazil.” Stockholm, Sweden (2017).

Connected Life, Oxford Internet Institute (peer-reviewed, with Jun Yu)

“Algorithmic visibility: Elements of new regime of visibility”. Oxford, UK (2017).

IAMCR 2017 (peer-reviewed)

“My lovely useless Facebook bubble: Ambiguous perceptions of algorithm-driven political homophily and the emergence of a liminal political recognition in Brazil”. Cartagena, Colombia (2017).

ECPR Joint Sessions (peer-reviewed, with Jun Yu)

“Algorithmic visibility: Elements of new regime of visibility”. Nottingham, UK (2017).

ICA 2016 preconference Big Data Alternatives (peer-reviewed)

“The Regime of Ethics of Big Data”. Fukuoka, Japan (2016).