Reckoning with a Decade of Breaking Things
Super excited to see “Reckoning with a Decade of Breaking Things: The Zuckerberg Files and Facebook’s Enduring Contempt for the World” published with Model View Culture. In the article, I discuss the subtle ways in which Facebook bends otherwise rich cultural concepts to serve its own ideology of sharing – and why it is important to remain cognizant of this process, especially as evidenced in the language of Mark Zuckerberg.
From the piece:
“…the importance of understanding Facebook’s contempt for the world goes beyond simply being more critically engaged users. Facebook’s co-opting of rich cultural concepts for narrow, ideologically-driven purposes also presents deep practical and epistemological challenges to research conducted using data obtained from the site. The information gathered on Facebook is, in fundamental ways, produced not by users, but by Facebook itself. Users are constrained by the categories and options Facebook offers; their activities are filtered through the site’s biases and framed by Facebook’s myopic view of sharing.”
More broadly, this piece starts to tease out some themes and implications of Zuckerberg’s language, things Michael Zimmer and I are working on pulling out in a more systematic fashion in our research into The Zuckerberg Files. We’ll be talking more about this in particular at IR 15.0 in Daegu, South Korea.
Relatedly, I submitted the final draft of this piece just a few days before news of the Facebook emotions study broke. Given this timing, I don’t deal with the study here directly, but I do think some of the comments about contempt and Facebook’s ideology are relevant.
Anyway, I love Model View Culture and it was a real pleasure to write for them. If you’re not keeping up with their work, you should start!
30 Jun 2014 / Anna Lauren