Ubiquity, Surveillance, and Profit; Tracing Facebook’s rise and current position in the global political economy

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Ubiquity, Surveillance, and Profit; Tracing Facebook’s rise and current position in the global political economy

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Publication Bachelor thesis
Title Ubiquity, Surveillance, and Profit; Tracing Facebook’s rise and current position in the global political economy
Author Rodan, Gerard
Date 2019
English abstract
The rise of platform companies such as Facebook has been rapid. The ubiquity of such technology companies makes them almost invisible. Facebook is now part of the infrastructure of social life and communication for over 2 billion people around the world as well as countless brands, public and political figures, institutions, and organizations. Yet how did Facebook come to such prominence and influence? This paper seeks to shed light on this question through a single case study tracing Facebooks development through three critical and overlapping events: Facebook’s founding, its expansion into the developing world, and its expansion into electoral politics. Borrowing from critical media, organizational, and technology studies I use the concepts of platformitization, infrastructurization, direct and indirect network effects to draw attention to a common pattern of creating markets and controlling flows of information between different groups as a key strategy of Facebook’s rapid expansion. This interdisciplinary approach contributes to the conceptual challenges posed by globalization and rapid technological change, specifically a conceptualization of the emerging digital economy at a macro and meso scale.
Publisher Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle
Language eng (iso)
Subject Facebook, network effects, infrastructurization, platformitization, digital platforms, political economy
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/29983 Permalink to this page
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