New media, politics and society- Second edition
Chapter 5: Social Networks
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In September 2009 the BBC quoted Facebook Vice-President Mike Schroepfer on the company’s mission ‘to get as much of the entire world on the social network.’ Facebook’s ambition is overtly directed towards global domination and by implication the homogenization of the contexts and structures of social interaction. In April 2010 the BBC reported on what it described as ‘Facebook’s bid to rule the web.’ On 22 August 2013 The Independent observed that Facebook founder ‘Mark Zuckerberg plans world conquest.’ Writing in The Observer on 1 February 2014 – the company’s tenth birthday – John Naughton asked whether the website was ‘in danger of swallowing the web.’ In April 2014 it was reported that Facebook had accumulated a grand total of 1.28 billion active users.
Facebook’s own Facebook page announces that ‘Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.’ It is unclear whether this strategy includes the use of a public relations company to plant negative stories about its rival Google, as reported in May 2011. On his own Facebook page the site’s founder Mark Zuckerberg lists his personal interests as ‘openness, making things that help people connect and share what’s important to them, revolutions, information flow, minimalism.’ In these terms Facebook represents a revolutionarily minimalist notion of information flow, one in which the flow itself, the process of connection and of sharing, and the condition of openness which affords...
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