• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

In terms of media and communication history, we are arguably in the midst of a social media paradigm. Well-known platforms like Twitter and Facebook have gone from being viewed as mere sites of teenage distraction to becoming embedded ICT infrastructure in mainstream organisations across the society, culture, and economy; such platforms, their uses, and their politics are increasingly entangled with everyday life, work, and relationships. For the past decade there has been a burgeoning interest in social media. This highly international Handbook addresses the most significant research themes, methodological approaches and debates in this field via substantial chapters specially commissioned from leading scholars coming from a range of disciplinary perspectives centered on but extending beyond the social sciences and humanities. Part One: Histories and Pre-Histories ...

The Incomplete Political Economy of Social Media
The incomplete political economy of social media
Siva Vaidhyanathan

In February 2016, the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India ruled that Facebook's plan to introduce a free service to underprivileged Indians via a partnership with one mobile company and a handful of commercial application services violated network neutrality, the principal that digital services should not favor one source of content over another. So ‘Free Basics,’ as Facebook had re-dubbed its ostensibly philanthropic effort ‘Internet.org,’ died quickly in a power struggle among a powerful American social media company, resentful Indian technology developers, overwhelmed regulators, sensitive nationalistic politicians, highly organized public interest activists, and rival mobile service providers. It was a remarkable tale of ideological hubris on ...

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