The Rhetorical Algorithm: WikiLeaks and the Elliptical Secrets of Donald J. Trump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Algorithms were a generative force behind many of the leaks and secrets that dominated the 2016 election season. Taking the form of the identity-anonymizing Tor software that protected the identity of leakers, mathematical protocols occupied a prominent place in the secrets generated during the presidential campaign. This essay suggests that the rhetorical trope of ellipsis offers an equally crucial, algorithmic formula for explaining the public production of these secrets and leaks. It then describes the 2016 DNC leak and Donald Trump’s “I love Wikileaks” moment using the trope of ellipsis, which marks a discursive omission or gap in official executive discourse.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
Number of pages41
JournalSecrecy and Society
StatePublished - Feb 16 2018

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