06 July 2011

Facebook, Hammer and Sickle

While sitting to write this I find it so easy to select an image posted online to accompany my concept. Facebook is the hammer and sickle of Internet social networking yet we embrace it as if it was democracy. Myspace has failed, yes it may turn itself around by becoming a social network for indie bands; however recent reports show the fact: Myspace was purchased by Specific Media for $35M, just shy of six years after Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation purchased it for $580M.
What made Myspace sink? I believe the lack of control over the visual regulations contributed to the downfall, where as Facebook limits our freedoms.
Myspace allowed anyone with the ability to search for whatever interested them to post videos, music, pictures and writings anywhere they chose, in as many colors as they could tolerate and all of this was often unorganized and extremely visually disorienting.
Facebook has a strong hold over how we express our daily thoughts, comments and emotions. We are restricted to a white background with a blue header. Our friends are displayed to our left, their comments displayed in the center of our view (yet restricted to 420 characters), pages which may interest us on the upper right and ads to fund Facebook below. We abide to posting our lengthy comments to our "Notes", our pictures are neatly displayed in our "News Feed" and videos do not automatically play when you visit a friend's "Wall".
How similar is Facebook's control over our freedom to chose our own fonts, colors, picture sizes, background etc. to Communism? That could be argued till the ever impeding apocalypse.
My vision in regards to this thought of Facebook having a communistic approach to the visual appearance of our pages: I see Facebook users world wide dressed in plain, militant appearing, dingy green uniforms typing our comments within the 420 character limit, or if we have more to say clicking into our "Notes" section, socializing with tens, hundred or thousands of friends all while smiling and accepting our role as diligent followers.
To return to my original thought, selecting an image to accompany this thought was extremely easy since Communism has been experience all over the world, just as Facebook is. Whatever image that captured my eye I could use, since there is a good chance the origin of that image allows Facebook access. I will be clicking onto my Facebook tab now to tell all my friends I'm sleepy and going to bed.

-Justine Bilas

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Justine, for submitting this thought provoking article! Remember, the key word in communism is COMMUNITY, and that is what social networks attempt to build. However, I agree, Facebook is more communistic than socialistic. Facebook has a strong policies not just on site format, but also has regulation on what kind of material you can post. A photo of a male kissing a male was once removed by Facebook. This got some media attention as discriminatory. Still, I would never want to return to the lawless/gaudy world of MySpace, especially when it was owned by Rupert Murdock. Even given the privacy policy flaws, I'll take Facebook's over Myspace any day.