Lecture 11: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail

Christina Fuchs:

  • Critique of social media
  • 3 key questions (at start of reading)
  • Technological determinism
  • Social shaping, through commodification, capitalism, neoliberalism
  • Purposed communist alternative

Exploitations undermines social media

  • Inequality must be overcome
  • End alienation, appropriation, exploitation and expropriation
    • Sharing without consent

Big date: -> approach that uses large amounts of data to

  • Make description, predictive insights; generate value


Corporate Hacktivism:

  • Fuchs is concerned mainly with social media platforms, i.e. Facebook, and corporations like Google
  • Double speak related to FAKE NEWS


In Fiction and in Real life:

Expropriation -> exploitation -> alienation


How to improve social media?

  • Alternative “towards a truly


Questions: Group Work

  1. Where does power come from in a social media platform?
    • The rhetoric of participations
      • The users/public – are ability to create free content; an individuals ability to govern discussions, generate values
    • corporations also have a large scale of power as they withhold the ability to take control over users labour, to choose which content is generally used across interfaces, govern pay,
    • Power comes from reach and the ability to effectively incite reach – this is done by knowing your audience
    • Power comes from social capital, and various networks such as Facebook, Instagram provides validation of ones social capital
  2. How does power operate within a network?
    • User influence, user affiliation with multiple social media platforms, the autonomy of individuals amidst the social sphere
  3. How might power be tactically redirected?
    • Changes in pop culture trends


Russian “Hacktivism” in the 2016 US Election:

  • Three pronged attack:
    • Hacking the DNC and releasing data on WikiLeaks

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