Writer Rebecca MacKinnon has compared Facebook to a country, she calls it Facebookistan. Facebookistan has 1 billion people, and an economy that rivals many countries'. Brooke and Bob talk to Jillian York and Clay Shirky about the contours of Facebookistan, and how it affects life in the actual world we live in.
Europe has long taken a harder line towards global internet companies who make privacy incursions against their users and Facebook is no exception. In the last few months, a couple of high-profile cases have seen European privacy fears realized. We asked Marketplace reporter Christopher Werth to talk to a few of the people in Europe who’ve run up against Facebook recently to see if their experiences might tell us something about Facebook’s prospective practices in the US.
Facebook is blocked in China –but that hasn’t prevented homegrown Facebook knock-off sites from sprouting. And even on China’s fake Facebooks, real conversations about politics and culture are occurring every day. Jeremy Goldkorn, who monitors Chinese media at his website, talks to Bob about life on China's fake Facebooks.
The Facebook "Like" button has ventured beyond the pages of Facebook. Now, not only can you tell your friends that you "Like" their comments, photos and status updates, you can also tell third-party site how much you "Like" a blog post or news article. Bob explores the meaning of a Facebook "Like."
As popular as Facebook is, it has its share of detractors, especially among public intellectuals. Novelist Jonathan Franzen spoke for many when he said that platforms like Facebook are “great allies and enablers of narcissism" and that "to friend a person is merely to include the person in our private hall of flattering mirrors.” Where’s this frustration coming from? Is it fair? Writer Paul Ford talks to Brooke about an essay he wrote last year that sought to answer that question.
Not long ago, writer Emily McCombs received a friend request from a man who had raped her in her adolescence. She talks to Brooke about how you handle that particular social networking quandary, and about how the interaction was ultimately a surprisingly positive one for her.
It’s easy to forget that Facebook has only been around for eight years. In that time, Facebook’s grown from a college dorm room project to a multi-billion dollar company, and made its 27 year-old founder the 4th richest person in the United States. But Facebook’s life represents an eternity in internet years, where sites live, dominate and die at historic speeds. Surely, then, Facebook must one day die, right? According to Clay Shirky, no one ought to hold their breath waiting for Facebook's demise.