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From Facebook to 'Placebook': a critical approach to mobile network labour

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thesis
posted on 23.05.2021, 12:35 by James Loney
This paper puts forth a critical interpretation of Facebook Inc.'s mobile growth strategy within a present mobile network society. Using Facebook's own promotional and platform policy texts - many authored at a time when the company prepared for public trading - a promotional rhetoric inviting mobile users to actively partake in the site's 'engaging experiences' will be surveyed. The analyst adopts a view that engaging Facebook on mobile devices can be interpreted as an emerging form of hyper-mobile net work generating surplus value filtered towards particular interests (network 'nodes'). I argue that Facebook's source code can be likened to a worksite, albeit a highly decentralized one that, through mobile, bridge virtual influence to physical spaces. To meet such a task, end-users' mobile-specific technical rights will be discussed so far as they interface with other revenue-generating actors. Using a critical discourse analysis framework, this paper explores a grammar of interests portrayed at a key point in Facebook's company history, connecting Facebook's imagined mobile landscape to its initial public offering period.

History

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Communication and Culture

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

Thesis