Facebook's affordances, visible culture, and anti-anonymity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


This paper outlines and analyzes a selection of Facebook's affordances to argue that the site compels users to become as visible as possible, thus refusing their right to be anonymous. This promoted visible culture is primarily guided by two affordance categories: The "real you" policy and photographs. The related interface affordances for each category are catalogued and focus groups with emerging adult users (n=45) are analyzed to better understand how users interact with the space while attempting to maintain and broadcast the self. Findings indicate that users (1) do not question the "real you" policy because they view Facebook, like the Census or an application, as an "official" space and (2) value photographs of corporeal selves to the point of ostracizing offline friends on the site when they have chosen "non-traditional" profile pictures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2015
EditorsAnatoliy Gruzd, Jenna Jacobson, Philip Mai, Barry Wellman
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450339230
StatePublished - Jul 27 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2015 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Jul 27 2015Jul 29 2015

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


ConferenceInternational Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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