Tero Karppi – Disconnect: Facebook’s Affective Bonds


University of Minnesota Press, ISBN-13: 978-1517903077, English, 192 pages, 2018, USA

What does Facebook, the social medium with the largest number of users in the world, fear? Mainly one thing: the “mass exodus” from its platform, which would be perpetrated by mass ‘disconnection’. The latter is strictly related to ’connectivity’, whose ubiquitousness produces economic value, and psychologically induces the illusion of belonging all together to a single world. This book aims to “unbind the bonds that make social media connectivity”, dismantling Zuckerberg’s official rhetoric of connectivity, showing how Facebook has monopoly control, and how its user engagement, a compelling strategy for anybody professionally involved with the platform, is a core control mechanism. Facebook creates ‘dividual’ (individuals split in their offline/online presence), and turns individuals into ’data doubles’, creating consumer profiles and services, and targeting specific markets. This insanely exclusive platform has to keep everything within the system. It’s a book that might belong to so-called “platform studies” as Karppi compiles nodal, theoretical and structural research, explaining the solid mechanisms of Facebook addiction. Its “technosocial fabric” informs the ecology of social media in general, whose key historical difference to other media is that “viewers are actively involved with the content as redistributors and recommenders”.