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

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posted on 2021-05-23, 12:35 authored 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.



Master of Arts


Communication and Culture

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type