Smart corruption: Satirical strategies for gaming accountability

Ritwick Ghosh, Hilary Oliva Faxon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although new forms of data can be used to hold power to account, they also grant the powerful new resources to game accountability. We dub the latter behavior “smart corruption.” The concept highlights the possibility of appropriating algorithms, infrastructures, and data publics to accumulate benefits and obscure responsibility while leaning into the positive associations of transparency. Unlike conventional forms of corruption, smart corruption is disguised as progressive, and is thus difficult to spot or analyze through existing legal or ethical frameworks. To illustrate, we outline a satirical strategy for gaming accountability. Identifying the particular mechanisms and outcomes of transgressive activities carried out under the veneer of data-driven transparency, as well as the key actors and organizations most active in gaming accountability, is an important research and political project.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBig Data and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 20 2023


  • accountability
  • corruption
  • data-driven governance
  • gaming
  • institutions
  • transparency


Dive into the research topics of 'Smart corruption: Satirical strategies for gaming accountability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this