Facebook refusal: Hipster trend or activist movement?

April 12, 2013 by Courtney Bowe

Laura Portwood-Stacer, visiting assistant professor of media, culture, and communication at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, recently published a study of people who quit Facebook and how the media cover the phenomenon of Facebook "refusal."

"People have a variety of reasons for quitting or refusing a platform like Facebook," says Portwood-Stacer, "Yet many media accounts of the phenomenon portray quitters as hipsters or elitists. Even some of the refusers themselves describe their decision to quit in terms that make it sound like they're 'too cool' for Facebook."

But Portwood-Stacer asserts that many people have ethical and political concerns about media services like Facebook.

"While quitting may seem like an ideal solution, it's an individual strategy that doesn't necessarily result in structural changes to the ," Portwood-Stacer notes. "Those political and —about privacy, about exploitation, about user agency—go unaddressed."

The study, titled "Media Refusal and Conspicuous Non-Consumption: The Performative and Political Dimensions of Abstention," was published in New Media & Society.

Explore further: Facebook launches page for journalists

Related Stories

Facebook launches page for journalists

April 6, 2011

Facebook has launched a media resource page to help journalists use the social network as a reporting tool and better connect with their audience.

Italian tax police raid Facebook offices

December 7, 2012

Italian police on Friday raided the Milan offices of US social media giant Facebook over possible violations of tax laws, Italian media reported.

Recommended for you

The hand and foot of Homo naledi

October 6, 2015

The second set of papers related to the remarkable discovery of Homo naledi, a new species of human relative, have been published in scientific journal, Nature Communications, on Tuesday, 6 October 2015.

Who you gonna trust? How power affects our faith in others

October 6, 2015

One of the ongoing themes of the current presidential campaign is that Americans are becoming increasingly distrustful of those who walk the corridors of power – Exhibit A being the Republican presidential primary, in which ...

Chimpanzees shed light on origins of human walking

October 6, 2015

A research team led by Stony Brook University investigating human and chimpanzee locomotion have uncovered unexpected similarities in the way the two species use their upper body during two-legged walking. The results, reported ...

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Apr 12, 2013
Lots of people won't do FB. Lots more just lie like hell when the create an ID.
Personally, I just use FB to keep track of relatives and a few friends.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.