Facebook and the Imperative of Sharing

José van Dijck

in The Culture of Connectivity

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199970773
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199307425 | DOI:
Facebook and the Imperative of Sharing

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The third chapter relates the history of Facebook between 2004 and 2012, more particularly the evolution of the notion of “sharing” over the years. Sharing is an ambiguous term: it relates to users distributing personal information to each other, but also implies the spreading of that personal information to third parties. As the terms “friending” and “liking” were imputed with specific techno-economic meanings, Facebook’s ideology of sharing pretty much set the standard for other platforms and the ecosystem as a whole. Users contested Facebook’s expanded notions of privacy and information control over the years by resisting changes at the levels of technology and governance, as well as by protesting new business models, such as the insertion of promoted “friend” stories in their Timelines. Facebook’s distribution of “social” norm has been widespread because its Like and Share buttons have been effectively exported to other platforms, promoted by the frictionless sharing stratagem.

Keywords: Facebook; friending; Like button; third-party sharing; privacy; information control

Chapter.  10101 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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