Posted on

Strategic and Rhetorical Framing of Facebook’s Role as a Public Entity

A presentation by
Katerina Diamantaki
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

When: Monday, September 25, 15:00–15:50

Where: Deree Faculty Lounge

Organized by: Faculty Research Seminars 2017-18 Series


Bio

Katerina Diamantaki is Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator at the MA in Digital Communication and Social Media program at Deree, where she currently teaches the courses of Applied Communication Theory, Social Networks Behavior and Digital Media & Computer-Mediated Communication. Her scholarly expertise focuses primarily on New Media Studies from a socio-cultural perspective, but expands to other areas such as strategic communication, persuasion, audience research and memory/space studies. Dr. Diamantaki has participated in numerous research projects covering a wide range of topics, such as media representations, science communication, educational technologies, online political communication, locative media, the adaptive web, user experience, and the Internet of Things. She currently holds the position of Independent Expert in Community-building for the EU-Community project (7th Framework of the European Commission). Besides her academic career, Dr. Diamantaki also has extensive professional experience, having worked as a communications specialist for the European Parliament, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other social, political and scientific organizations.

Abstract

Facebook is today one of the most popular social media network sites in the world, integrated into the daily lives of a growing number of people across borders, generations and social groups. Thirteen years after it was founded, Facebook has acquired what Durkheim called “facticity”, as we are increasingly reliant on having a FB account. Recently and in a landscape of surging nationalism, fragmented public spheres and polarization, Facebook, has been mobilizing a positive vision of globalization and strategically positing itself as a “social infrastructure” that is able to effect wide-reaching social change and bring about an inclusive and informed “Global Community”. At the same time, Facebook is faced with the challenge of balancing between its multiple roles: What is Facebook, really? A social network? A media company? A tech company? A utility? An institution? A new political actor? A social movement?

This study examines the emerging and often contradicting roles of Facebook as a public entity, by means of a critical discourse analysis of its key formal public texts, messages and discourses. Adopting a framing and critical rhetoric lens, it seeks to examine how these communication texts function pragmatically and constitutively to structure Facebook’s social and institutional power, and how they reflect the company’s struggle both with other powerful actors, and with a set of contested issues, such as misinformation, diversity, or privacy. In order to understand Facebook’s evolving role as one of the world’s most powerful public entities, we need to engage not only on the ways issues are framed, but also on the intertwining of these discursive practices with the communicator’s identity and the wider sociopolitical context in which they are enacted.