the power of Facebook

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

In explicating Facebook's power, Salon interviews Jacob (Terms of Service) Silverman. Aside from Facebook's psychological rewards, Silverman suggests that "the idea of constant connectivity" is desirable "because it means we are constantly generating more data, being more engaged, looking at more ads, and being a good user for them:"

On a socio-cultural level, what that means in practice is being visible. To be visible you have to be posting often. It helps to be personal and confessional, and to expose yourself.

The issue of Facebook's power is also addressed:

This might be a vague question, but what kind of power is this? I feel like we don't have any real-world analogue for the sort of power that these companies possess.

That's something we are all figuring out. Facebook's power is to sort what people see and to screen information. That's basically what Google does, too. They filter information for large amounts of people. [...] You see Facebook getting very deep into messaging and into Internet connectivity. And for a lot of people in the developing world now, Facebook is their experience of the Internet, because that is how they connect through these cheap phones, to this low-bandwidth version of Facebook. That really cuts down, potentially, on their possibility to experience an open, unfiltered Internet.

So is the issue of potential hypocrisy:

You have a smartphone, a Gmail address and a Twitter account. Like most critics of social media, you're enmeshed in the very system you're analyzing. How do you launch a critique from that position of entanglement?

Frankly, I think it's a very cheap irony to say, like, "Oh, you're complaining about Twitter, but you use it." That's like people who say, "If you don't like the U.S. government policies, why don't you move?"

We all are entangled within capitalism. We can still complain about it, even as we have to take part in certain aspects of it, or feel compelled [to do so]. I feel very conflicted about a lot of social media. I still use it, in part because I want to be a good critic of it. I want to know how it works. But there are also aspects of it that I do like. I think there's nothing wrong with saying, "Look, we're engaging with it on all these levels."

NY Daily News reports that FB can even be used to serve divorce papers:

[Ellanora] Baidoo, 26, "is granted permission serve defendant with the divorce summons using a private message through Facebook," with her lawyer messaging Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku through her account, Cooper wrote.[...] "I think it's new law, and it's necessary," said Baidoo's lawyer, Andrew Spinnell. [...]

The "post office has no forwarding address for him, there is no billing address linked to his prepaid cell phone, and the Department of Motor Vehicles has no record of him," the ruling says.

"We tried everything, including hiring a private detective -- and nothing," Spinnell said. The first Facebook message went out to the husband last week. "So far, he hasn't responded," Spinnell said.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on April 6, 2015 10:13 AM.

Indiana was the previous entry in this blog.

trolling Hugo is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives


  • About
  • Contact
OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.031