Facebook Persuasive Analysis

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This essay will examine whether Facebook undertakes certain measures to encourage its users to express themselves or whether it limits the way people can represent their otherness. Facebook main purpose is to “make the world more open and connected” and it gives opportunity for its users to “share and express what matters to them to the people they care about” (Facebook Inc., 2012, p.1). However, from the very first moment of registration Facebook gives limited choices and strikes potential users with terms and conditions full of suppression. It raises a doubt whether this social networking site’s software is respectful towards minorities and whether it allows its users to express their beliefs, especially if they differ from the mainstream…show more content…
Although there is not any rubric which allows, or compels, people to express their background, users can provide information about their language. However, it is very limited as well. Grosser (2011, p.16) points out that ‘Language’ field, even though not organised into a drop–down list, it auto–suggests the choice. The problem is that many of non–western languages and dialects are not included (Grosser, 2011, p.17). For instance, “The Ethiopian language of Gallinya, spoken by 8 million people” (Grosser, 2011,p.17) as well as alternative spelling of Kaqchikel – Kaqchiquel is not listed (Grosser, 2011, p.17). This not extraordinary that Facebook programmers could not list all 7 000 languages with about 90% of them spoken by less than 100 000 people (BBC, 2014). As a result people are forced to represent themselves with information which are not exactly true for the reason of monetising data – it is easier for Facebook and advertisers to aim ones who speak certain language, already existing in Facebook’s database, than creating algorithms which look for alternative spelling and dialects of…show more content…
One cannot stand out, cannot express herself or himself in different way than anyone else. Even the timeline itself looks very similar from one user to another – it consists of same components, for instance: photos, places that a person has visited, status updates, various achievements and events, hobbies, favourite music and films, and many more (Van Dijck, 2013, p.204). The timeline was introduced as a collection of pieces from our lives and, in the spirit of Web 2.0, it shifted Facebook profiles from databases to narrative storytelling (Van Dijck, 2013, p.203–205). On one hand, users can express their beliefs freely, but on the other hand, they are all standardised into the same format which is available to any member of Facebook community. The homogeneity in this case is more visual than ideological – although every person may represent different cultures, ideologies and judgements, every profile has the same “uniform”. There are very little options to distinguish self from the whole Facebook community. In this case social networking sites, including Facebook, are very limited in allowing users in representing true–selves. When compared to, for example, blogs, Facebook does not offer a variety of tools to customise and shape one’s profile to represent the true–self and to express otherness.
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