Tag: unlikeus


The Future of Identity in a Digital World by Tobias Leingruber at Unlike Us #3

Facebook as an identity provider Tobias Leingruber, a member from the Free Art and Technology (F.A.T.) Lab, discussed the future of (online) identity in relation to Facebook. He started his talk with an anecdote of bouncers at nightclubs checking attendees’ Facebook accounts on their phones as a way of identification, see BBC’s article on “Bouncers ‘checking Facebook on phones’ as identification.” This implies an interesting shift from traditional identity mechanisms, where the ID is provided by the state (the passport or the driving license) to the social network profile as an un-official identification to enter a club. Facebook has become a very prominent identification mechanism online with Facebook Login (previously known as Facebook Connect) which is used by webmasters and game developers to use the Facebook platform as an identity provider. This is often done because Facebook has a real-name policy: “Facebook is a community where people use their real identities. We require everyone to provide their real names, so you always know who you’re connecting with.” (Facebook Help). The consequence of the increasing presence of Facebook as an identity provider is that in some cases websites cannot be accessed, apps cannot be run or blog posts cannot be commented upon, before identifying with and […]

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Minds Without Bodies: Rites of Religions 2.0 by Karlessi from Ippolita at Unlike Us #3

Karlessi from the Italian research group Ippolita talks about the increasing data production of web users and how we contribute to measurement systems and the dissemination of real-time dataflows often discussed in terms of big data. He argues that big data is not only produced for “Big Brothers” but that the act behind the production of this data, for example tweeting, liking, sharing and commenting have become rituals inscribed in the mediation of sociality by platforms. Mediated rituals For Karlessi the ritual recalls the flow of water where a rite is something that flows, changes but also repeats itself in proceeding. These repeated practices can become rituals of interaction to “make things happen” in a relatively predictable manner. Such procedures, for example established rituals, are structured in a predictable manner and therewith are the very means to control crowds. In Crowds and Power (1960) Canetti describes how we do rituals to avoid open crowd eruption whereas in Religion for Atheists (2012) Alain de Botton discusses rituals as a way to organize communities (in both religious and secular states). In secular societies we still have many rituals and the inscribed mechanisms within social media platforms. Karlessi jokes how it’s very good […]

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Facebook Demetricator and the Easing of Prescribed Sociality by Ben Grosser at Unlike Us #3

At Unlike Us #3 Ben Grosser presented the Facebook Demetricator which is a web browser extension that hides all the metrics on Facebook and therewith demetricates Facebook’s interface. Grosser describes his project as a piece of critical software that intervenes in the numerical focus of Facebook. The quantification of social relations: More! Ben Grosser narrates a scene from Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps where Jacob asks his new boss, Bretton James: “What’s your number?” “Everybody has a number, a set amount of money that once they hit, they’ll leave the game and just go play golf for the rest of their life. What’s yours?” and his response is: “More.” The scene depicts a moment in the movie, which deals with the 2008 USA financial collapse, before the financial crisis and shows capitalist society’s fetish with increasing numbers and numerical growth which eventually came to a collapse. He describes the human desire to make numbers go higher, whether this means stocks rising, calories burned, friends added, likes accrued or comments left. Grosser states how we are obsessed with these numbers and that we’re paying more attention to the numbers than the actual content of the interaction. He defines metrics in relation to […]

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Video: Reworking the fabric of the web: The Like economy

Conference presentation at Unlike Us #2: Understanding Social Media Monopolies and Their Alternatives. Session 4: Software Matters Anne Helmond (NL) and Carolin Gerlitz (UK) – Reworking the fabric of the web: The Like economy. Conference Day 2: March 10 2012 Amsterdam, 11.00 – 12.30 Abstract In recent years, Facebook has increasingly expanded beyond the limits of its platform, first through social buttons and the Open Graph, and more recently through new possibilities of app development, frictionless sharing and differentiated Facebook actions. These digital devices allow Facebook to turn user interactivity instantly into valuable data, creating what we have described as a Like Economy. In this paper, we explore how the platform produces a very particular fabric of the web with its software design by focusing on social buttons, apps and actions. The introduction of social buttons and social plug-ins allowed for a partial opening of the platform as walled garden – carefully regulated by its Graph API – and led to an increasing decentralisation of the web. Yet, the new apps, sharing possibilities and actions introduce a recentralisation as content and user activities are designed to remain within the platform. By tracing the data- and content flows enabled between the platform and […]

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Photos Unlike Us 2 Conference in Amsterdam

“Unlike Us #2 is the second event on ‘alternatives in social media’, where artists, designers, scholars, activists and programmers gather. This international research network examines the economic and cultural aspects of dominant social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Through workshops, conferences, online dialogues and publications, the Unlike Us network intends to both analyze the economic and cultural aspects of dominant social media platforms and propagate the further development and proliferation of alternative, decentralized social media software.” Continue reading by downloading the program booklet in pdf. Photos taken at the Unlike Us 2 conference, March 9-10, 2012 in Amsterdam. More photos from the Unlike Us conference in Amsterdam on Flickr. Blogposts from the conference are available at the Institute of Network Cultures Unlike Us blog.

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