- Facebook and the engineering of connectivity: a multi-layered approach to social media platforms
- Convergence : The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
- Volume | Issue number
- 19 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This article aims to explain how Web 2.0 platforms in general, and Facebook in particular, engineers online connections. Connectivity has become the material and metaphorical wiring of our culture, a culture in which technologies shape and are shaped not only by economic and legal frames, but also by users and content. The emergence of social media platforms is at the heart of a shifting dynamic, where various actors (technology, users, content, legal and economic actors) are building a connective space for communication and information. In order to comprehend this interwovenness, Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory will be invoked to explore how social media platforms can be analysed as techno-socio-cultural artefacts; this theoretical framework will be complemented by Castells’ political-economy approach to arrive at a fuller understanding of how social media operate. The documentary Catfish (2010) serves as an illustration to explore social media platforms in their multiple dimensions.
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