On Facebook

I dislike Facebook for many of the things it seems to represent. Particularly its primary guise as a well-meaning community that connects ‘friends’. Whereas its raison d’ĂȘtre is making money through data collected and the mediation of ‘news’, promotions, and opinions with little obligation for responsibility over the veracity of information. I watch with interest the current debates on social media regulation . Someone once commented that Guy Debord would have found the idea of a ‘facebook friend’ the pinnacle of the society of the spectacle.

As photographer interested in identity and therefore community, it is perhaps impossible to ignore Facebook as it has become a superhighway of communication and ‘groups’ can be a useful source of information about the interests of the online versions of physical communities. I’ve therefore set up a group for my body of work project @29Miles, mainly as a channel for interaction with Facebook groups related to the canal. For example the canal boat owners group could be a source for volunteers who are willing to be photographed on their boats (if I decide to advertise for volunteers, rather than relying on chance encounters). The group also provides a way for volunteers (ad hoc or otherwise) to validate my activity as a photographer.

The idea of a ‘Facebook’ community is perhaps something that could be referenced in my contextual work around identity.