Project progress…

Image by felipestoker on Reddit.

FURTHER RESEARCH: Just after publishing my previous blog post for this project, Facebook has been in the news a lot lately, surrounding the ‘Cambridge Analytica’ data breach scandal. Which prompted a movement to #deletefacebook and lead to Mark Zuckerberg testifying before the US Congress and being grilled by senators, about the privacy of users data used by Facebook and the transparency of their business model. As well as the ease of third-party apps like the one used by Cambridge Analytica, which allowed them to have wholesale access the data of Facebook users and their friends, in order to publish specific adverts to influence elections and political decisions. When the news broke about the scandal Facebook’s stock dropped drastically almost overnight, to be specific on March 19th Facebook’s stock dropped by 6.92%, which is the biggest single-day slide in their stock market value since they went public in 2012.

Therefore, it is very fitting that we are producing a project that investigates and explores the relationship between Facebook’s business interests, versus its user’s experience. Their business model fundamentally relies on its users using the platform, however, it also relies on harvesting that information that we upload onto Facebook and enabling businesses to access it, to create targeted advertising. There is a paradox around the idea of who Facebook is really serving, this is what the extension aims to exemplify. If the business model is working and Facebook is making money the experience is as normal, if they are losing money, however, you are going to suffer as a result and be presented with a more distorted experience dependent on the level of stock market value decline. As a result of the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal and Mark Zuckerberg in the press a lot recently, there have been a lot of artists, journalists and creatives producing content in response to the current situation. I feel like it is worth showing these below, even at this late stage in the project, as they still serve as sources of inspiration and are relevant to our project. Will and I have curated some of our favourite pieces we found both artistic and academic references, which we will draw upon to further inform the work we produce for the project.

Andrei Lacatusu – Social Decay: ‘Social Decay’ is a series of 3D renders by Romanian artist Andrei Lacatusu, showcasing a dystopian post-social media world. The images highlight American roadside style signs for social media giants; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tinder, each positioned in a setting that points to the demise of social media, or a society that has left the platforms behind. Check out the project here.
Joachim Bosse – Mark Zuckerberg, give me 1 million USD for this piece – or all my data back:
Find out more about the piece here.

 

Beeple – Facebook Registration 2063: Below shows a static graphical render depicting a dystopian future set in 2063 by graphic artist Mike Winkelmann, otherwise known as Beeple, he depicts Facebook registration in the future as a physical process here

Beeple – Facebook default privacy settings 2038:

 

THE WEEK Cover – Illustration by Howard McWilliam (2018): 

 

Google Trends Graph – Internet Communities Popularity: Below shows a graph plotting all the major social media websites popularity from 2004 – 2018 based on Google trends, it clearly shows a rapid decline in the popularity of facebook from 2012 – 2018. Compared to Instagram that has seen a steady, consistent incline in popularity since it was established in 2010.

 

Banksy – Coney Island Avenue: This Banksy piece appeared in an abandoned area on Coney Island Avenue. The piece looks reminiscent of the work of artist, Kara Walker and features a contractor or businessman lashing out at a small group of; kids, women and an elderly man and dog, holding a stock market arrow. The piece seems to me to be a metaphor for the negative repercussions of capitalism and big bisness developments, and the damaging effects that redevelopments can have on driving out established communities. It seems fitting that the piece of street art was painted on a wall in an abandoned lot a short distance from Manhattan, the home of international finance trading.

 

News Feed Eradicator – Chrome Extension: The News Feed Eradicator Chrome Extension helps you cut out the crap of your Facebook feed and get back to communicating with friends over the internet. It deletes all the content from your news feed and replaces it with an inspirational randomly selected quote, you can also add your own quote. Check it out and find out more here.

 

VOX – Why you keep using Facebook, even if you hate it: An interesting video that explores the idea that, the network effect is Facebook’s biggest selling point, and the root of many of its problems, because “Facebook has created a network effect on steroids”.


TESTING PROTOTYPES:

Check out the live prototype here.

Check out the live prototype here.

Kitten Chrome Extension Example:

Check out the live prototype here.

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