Unlike Us #3 - Social Media: Design or Decline
Session 3: Political Economy of Social Networks: Art & Practice
Benjamin Grosser (US) - Facebook Demetricator and the easing of Prescribed Sociality
Conference Day #1 (22 March 2013)
The Facebook interface is filled with numbers. These numbers, or metrics, measure and present our social value and activity, enumerating friends, likes, comments and more. Benjamin Grosser presents his software intervention called Facebook Demetricator. Demetricator allows Facebook’s users to hide these metrics. The focus is no longer on how many friends one has or on how much people like their status, but on who they are and what they said. Friend counts disappear. ‘16 people like this’ becomes ‘people like this’. Through changes like these, Demetricator invites Facebook’s users to try the system without the numbers, to see how the experience is changed by their absence. This open source browser add-on thus aims to disrupt the prescribed sociality these metrics produce, enabling a network society that isn’t dependent on quantification.