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Category Archives: Social Networking

They meant well (or, why it matters who gets to be seen as a “tech critic”)

“We need technology to live, as we need food to live. But, of course, if we eat too much food, or eat food that has no nutritional value, or eat … Continue reading

April 28, 2021 · 8 Comments

Facebook – to delete, or not to delete?

‘Who rules here?’ I asked. They said: ‘The People naturally.’ I said: ‘Naturally the people but who really rules?’ – Erich Fried, “In the Capital.”   1. While many things … Continue reading

March 22, 2018 · 9 Comments

The users and the used

Woe be unto the tech company or platform that rolls out a new product or update and claims that it is in response to its users’ demands. For such action … Continue reading

June 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

Who moderates the moderators? On the Facebook Files

Speculative fiction is littered with fantastical tales warning of the dangers that arise when things get, to put it amusingly, too big. A researcher loses control of their experiment! A … Continue reading

May 23, 2017 · 9 Comments

You Can’t Spell “Trending Topics” Without Control

Attempting to understand trends can easily give one an unpleasant headache. From fashion to music and from food to news articles – the reasons why a particular thing is trendy … Continue reading

May 19, 2016 · 1 Comment

Facebook Reactions Are No Laughing Matter

Prepare yourself for a not particularly shocking observation: when it comes to interpersonal communication, there are certain types of information that are not conveyed particularly well by information technology. Indeed, … Continue reading

February 25, 2016 · 9 Comments

When it Comes to Social Media – Is There No Alternative?

In the first weeks of a new year, many people look back on the previous year and dwell upon what they wish they had done differently. And thus inspired, they … Continue reading

January 7, 2016 · 6 Comments

A Charitable Definition of Charity

When the state of the world seems terrible, it becomes all too easy to pine for good news. And if one is to glance at the headlines in recent weeks … Continue reading

December 2, 2015 · 5 Comments

Friends Don’t Let Friends Join Peeple

Social media can leave a funny taste in your mouth. Legion are the companies declaring that their platform will help you reach full actualization whether this occurs through connecting with … Continue reading

October 7, 2015 · 2 Comments

Ashley Madison and the Internet’s “Original Accident”

The news that a website, retailer, or famous individual has been the victim of hackers has, at this point, become not particularly sensational. It’s the type of revelation that still … Continue reading

July 21, 2015 · Leave a comment

Accustomed to the Unacceptable – Harassment 2.0

There are few types of praise that have not been directed at the Internet at one point or another. Such accolades range from the prosaic to the promising, but at … Continue reading

November 6, 2014 · 2 Comments

All Hitherto Existing Social Media – a review of Christian Fuchs’s “Social Medial: a Critical Introduction””

Legion are the books and articles describing the social media that has come before. Yet the tracts focusing on Friendster, LiveJournal, or MySpace now appear as throwbacks, nostalgically immortalizing the … Continue reading

September 25, 2014 · Leave a comment

Response Ability or Responsibility?

The decisions that one makes in the course of a day are subtly and overtly influenced by a host of factors. From the opinions of others to long term goals … Continue reading

August 4, 2014 · 9 Comments

The Laboratory or The Library?

Using social media has always involved a vague recognition that the platform (and the company behind it) will be using the user right back. Usually this understanding has involved a … Continue reading

July 31, 2014 · Leave a comment

Are We Technologically Literate?

Some of the appeal of new technologies is the ease with which they can be used. Though we may recognize, on a subconscious level, that these devices represent impressive feats … Continue reading

July 3, 2014 · 37 Comments

Facebook Gets Emotional

Have you ever found that you felt rather depressed after using social media? What about quite happy? It is probably no great stretch to imagine that the answer to at … Continue reading

June 30, 2014 · 20 Comments

Talking Through Machines about Talking To Machines

We spend a fair amount of time conversing with computers. It is an activity that has become so common-place as to have become rather mundane. These discussions are generally one-sided: … Continue reading

June 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

Modeling a Different World – The Library and PreFigurative Activism

From Madrid’s Puerta del Sol to Turkey’s Gezi Park to Occupy encampments across the USA and Canada to Egypt’s Tahrir Square to Ukraine’s Euromaidan protests in Kiev – libraries have … Continue reading

June 2, 2014 · 11 Comments

A Virtual Reality or A Virtuous Reality? – Facebook buys Oculus

The future of technology is right in front of your face! No, really, that’s where it’s going to be: in front of your face. Or, to be slightly more accurate, … Continue reading

March 27, 2014 · 3 Comments

Oh, What the Zuck!?

It appears that Facebook has a fierce new competitor! While Facebook has become skilled in squishing startups, they are as yet unsure as to how to deal with this menacing … Continue reading

March 14, 2014 · 3 Comments

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! No…It’s a Facebook Drone.

The history of philanthropy is replete with tales of the very rich spending some of their money to secure a positive legacy, which is a less polite way of saying … Continue reading

March 7, 2014 · 4 Comments

Consolidating the “Open” World – Facebook buys WhatsApp

Though Valentine’s Day sales might lead one to believe otherwise, it’s rather foolish to put a price on love. That is, unless you are a massive corporation, in which case … Continue reading

February 20, 2014 · 8 Comments

Control and Commodification – Facebook Turns 10

The realm of consumer technologies is so fixated upon the “new” that it can be easy to forget just how long some of these platforms have been around. Thus it … Continue reading

February 7, 2014 · 6 Comments

Coming to an Advertisement Near You…it’s You!

The government may still be shut down in Washington D.C., but the companies that thrive in the realm of devices that a user can “shut down” remain as busy as … Continue reading

October 14, 2013 · 5 Comments

A More Connected World (to mine for data)

For those with a speedy Internet signal and a multitude of sleek technological toys at their (non-metaphorical) fingertips it can be easy to forget that much of the world (billions … Continue reading

August 23, 2013 · 8 Comments

…And Starring Technology as Itself!

Consumer electronics and the tech/Internet companies that make those devices perform a sort of double cultural duty in our technological society. On the surface level these companies act as forces … Continue reading

August 19, 2013 · 5 Comments

Grifting, Garbage and Graph Search

Money is much beloved by tech companies and major websites, yet it is hardly the most important thing for them. What glitters most brightly is not gold, but information. Granted, … Continue reading

July 18, 2013 · 6 Comments

YouRube! (YouTube has never been free)

Since its premier (in 2005) YouTube has become one of the Internet’s best loved sites of (supposedly) free content. Music videos, amateur news, how to videos, personal narrative, video game … Continue reading

May 12, 2013 · 1 Comment

While We Were Distracted…CISPA Passed in the House

When the news cycle is focused on tragic events it is all too easy for other important stories to be ignored, particularly stories that might not have garnered much attention … Continue reading

April 22, 2013 · 3 Comments

Facebook Home is not Your Home Away from Home

The plot of a new horror movie is causing quite the tizzy. Here’s an overview (don’t worry, no spoilers): A group of friends are gathered inside a house. They are … Continue reading

April 7, 2013 · 5 Comments

Ne'er do wells



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