We’ve all seen the potential for social media platforms to take part in some of the most important social movements of the last year. From Twitter’s use in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries to the widespread use of social media during the worldwide Occupy protests, we’ve seen how social media can bring us together and bring down governments. More recently in Syria, we’ve seen how YouTube can emerge as the sole source of information on the ground in areas where the world’s traditional media may be unable to reach.
Last week, in the wake of Facebook’s decision to “go public”, I wrote a post about Facebook and the potential for the exploitation of its members. After some discussion among the editorial team, we decided to reach out to some of our colleagues for whom social media is a true intellectual passion. We’ve been able to put together a small panel on Facebook and the possibility for labor exploitation that seeks to address the ways in which all members of Facebook help to contribute to Facebook’s monetary value.
While we’re not “anti” Facebook – indeed, we at OOWBlog have our own Facebook page – we think the decision to “go public” by Facebook provides an ideal moment to reflect on the changing nature of business, labor, and leisure in the 21st century.
To that end, please check out my lead post as well as a response by the University of Maryland’s PJ Rey and two scholars are the University of Essex, Christopher Land and Steffen Böehm. We hope you enjoy them!