Transmediale 2011

Facebook Resistance Workshop

At Transmediale I attended the Facebook Resistance Artist Presentation which presented the outcomes of the Facebook Resistance Workshop from the day before.

Transmediale 2011

Facebook Resistance Workshop with Tobias Leingruber

Tobias Leingruber describes how Facebook is just like an Ikea Billy; many people own one but they all look the same and must be compiled in a similar way. In the early web days Geocities encouraged you to learn HTML, out of which a whole web culture arose. MySpace also encouraged personalization and modification a little but Facebook is just a Billy shelf. It is a critique on the template culture of Web 2.0.

Transmediale 2011

Facebook Resistance Workshop

There are several ways to ‘hack’ Facebook, for example by putting Javascript in the URL, or by using a browser add-on to adjust your Facebook profile. The downside of this form of resistance is that it happens on a local machine, it is only visible to you. It is resistance on an individual level.

The Facebook Resistance Artists group has come up with several ideas, for example the Facebook Dislike button. Disliking on Facebook is not an option, it is not provided by Facebook itself. However, by creating a dislike button disliking has become available for one million people who installed the plugin. The group asks themselves “What do I want Facebook to do?” and acts accordingly. Facebook blocks certain links, such as YouPorn.com. Why does Facebook get to decide which links I post? Another idea came out of reflecting on Facebook advertising practices where people can create and insert their own adds. Another idea was the gender slider, which gets rid of the static Male/Female divide and creates a more flexible understanding of gender on Facebook.

Transmediale 2011

Facebook Resistance Workshop: Gender Slider

A final idea presented at the workshop was a more diverse palette of emoticons in order to have more variety in buttons showing my emotional status.

Transmediale 2011

Facebook Resistance Workshop: New Facebook emoticons proposal

Read more about the workshop on Taina Bucher’s blog who participated in the workshop.