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Choose 1 out of the following 3 prompts:

1. Your mother thinks that watching YouTube videos is a real waste of time. In an essay which draws on Castell’s concept of the Network Society and the three domains of production/consumption, personal experience and power you will explain how YouTube videos benefit your learning and can empower you to become a more independent citizen.

2. Imagine the following scenario: Mark Zuckerberg is forced to shut down Facebook as a consequence of grave misuse of data. You think this is unfair and you decide to write an essay to the Supreme Court of Justice in which you outline (drawing on the concept of networked individualism) how using Facebook holds essential benefits that do not justify such a harsh ruling. Support your argument with examples from relevant studies.

3. In March 2017 the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport launched a policy paper outlining their “Digital skills and inclusion” plan. As an expert in Digital Culture you find that the paper does not sufficiently address key concerns to combat the digital divide. Write an essay for Jeremy Wright (DCMS Secretary of State) where you explain most recent debates on the Digital Divide. Based on this you propose 3 strategies to achieve digital inclusion (supported by recent research findings).


Facebook Inc is one of the popular and significant online social media as well as social networking service organization of America (Bakshy, Messing and Adamic 2015). This social networking site was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his fellow students of Harvard University in the year 2004. Initially, the founders of this website restricted the membership to only students of Harvard. Since 2006, access was given to anybody with age limit of 13 years. A registered user of Facebook gets several benefits after joining this social networking website. Apart from connecting to the rest of the world, Facebook is even helpful for research, insights and social marketing (Kross et al. 2013). However, in spite of having some of the major advantages, Facebook also comprises of few threats that are not appropriate for the users.

The following essay outlines a brief discussion on an imaginative scenario of Mark Zuckerberg, being forced to shut down Facebook for misusing of data. However, this is not correct and this essay is being provided to the Supreme Court of Justice for the fact that how utilizing Facebook eventually holds the important advantages, which do not justify the harsh ruling. This essay provides proper examples from relevant studies regarding the scenario of Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg is the founder of Facebook, the biggest social networking website in the world. It is used by several users and hence has become extremely popular since last 14 years. However, recently Mark Zuckerberg is forced to shut down his website of Facebook as it incurs huge misuse of data. Although, Facebook takes up data misuses, it does have several important benefits and is quite beneficial for the users, who are using it.

Facebook should not be shut down as it comprises of some of the major and the most significant features or characteristics. The main features are provided below:

i) News Feed: The first and the foremost feature of Facebook is the presence of news feed (Seidman 2013). This Facebook news feed is the primary system by which the respective users are exposed to the contents posted on networks. With the help of a secret method, called EdgeRank, the website chooses a small lot of updates for showing to the users. It is automatically updated in every 15 seconds and the users receives 1500 updates on an average. The news feed then highlights the relevant information, which involves profile changes, birthdays or upcoming events and many more (Van Dijck 2013). Thus, spammers or other users could not manipulate the features by the creation of illegitimate events and posting fake news to attract legal users. The integral part of the interface of News Feeds is mini-feed, which is the news stream over the profile page of the user.

ii) Timeline:  The second feature of this social networking site is timeline. It is the original profile space, in which the users of Facebook can display the contents. A privacy setting is present so that the user could restrict the access of their contents and not everyone gets the chance to view the confidential data or information (Russell 2013). This privacy option allows posting of information like short or temporal notes and for the specified user, it enables to check the date and time, that message is being written. The friends can see or update the content if the user allows and can even share their views easily. The information could even be changed periodically.

Case Study

iii) Likes or Reactions: The third important feature of Facebook is the presence of likes or reactions. The like button helps the users in easily interacting with the status updates, photos, links, videos, comments or even advertisements. When this button is clicked by the user, the specified content eventually appears in the news feed of that particular user’s friends (Ellison et al. 2014). It demonstrates that the friends of the users have liked the post or message shared by the user and they are supporting the messages. Recently, Facebook has introduced a new feature, called reactions. The users can share the views or emotions with the help of these reactions and can even provide their point of views with these reactions.

iv) Comments and Messages: The other significant feature of Facebook is comment and message. The users can make comments on posts, videos, photos or anything shared on timeline. With the help of this feature, the user does not require to message everything regarding the posts and rather he or she can directly write on that particular post or video and photo (Rosen, Carrier and Cheever 2013). Moreover, another important feature of this website is the instant messenger. Facebook Messenger is the instant message service as well as the software application that allows the users to send messages easily and promptly.

The Supreme Court of Justice has instructed to shut down Facebook for the excess usage or misuse of data. Apart from having several significant features, Facebook also provides several essential benefits to the users. The most significant benefits of this website of Facebook are as follows:

i) Better and Advanced Communication: The first and the foremost benefit of this website Facebook is that it helps in providing better as well as advanced communication (Grieve et al. 2013). Although, it is mentioned that Facebook substantially isolates people from each other by putting the users in computers and other devices. However, this particular website enables the members for efficiently and quickly exchanging confidential information that is held private. Regarding the business users, Facebook serves as an open communication channel and hence the customers could ask several questions, which they might feel uncomfortable over on the phone or even asking in person (Rieder 2013). Moreover, the facilities of real time communication that are available on the website of Facebook enable the business owners for providing customer services and answering the questions directly by the social networking sites.

ii) Provides Networking Tools: The second significant and important benefit that is provided by Facebook to the users is networking tools. Networking is one of the major or key element of business; however, the massive social network of Facebook comprises of several resources to seek exposure for the users (Enli and Skogerbø 2013). With the help of this website, the business owners could quickly and promptly update the investors, key contracts, higher value customers and suppliers. While posting any news publicly regarding the offerings or services of the organization, the users must remain aware of the fact that the competitors could check the information. The business owners must utilise discretion with the sharing of information over the pages of Facebook.

Main Features of Facebook

iii) Helps in Social Marketing: The website of Facebook also offers several number of advantages to marketing professionals as well as smaller business owners (Stutzman, Gross and Acquisti 2013). With the massive or huge user base, this social marketing site provides the marketers limitless users for the commercial messages. Moreover, the advertisement tools of Facebook allow the business users for targeting the message delivery with the help of demographic information, which ranges right from the geographical location until age and many more. Facebook is even responsible for providing an array of various analytical tools, which the marketers could utilise for gauging advertising efficiency and then adjusting the advertisements as per requirement.

iv) Research as well as Insights: The fourth important benefit of Facebook that is extremely effective for the users and it is helpful for researches as well as insights (Halpern and Gibbs 2013). The business owners could also research the offers from several other organisations. Few of the efficient and popular organisations utilise the pages of Facebook for posting the news letters as well as all other updates and the business owners could use the information for keeping the organizational activity active. Moreover, the users of Facebook easily share the interesting details regarding the lives of users for keeping track of the famous culture or emerging trends (Sánchez, Cortijo and Javed 2014). For getting updates about the customer interests, the businesses could easily adapt to every changing environment.

v) Provides Several Applications: Facebook provides numerous applications to the users. Events are the basic application of Facebook social networking website, The Facebook events are the methods for members for letting their friends knowing about the upcoming events within the community and also organizing the social gatherings. These events of Facebook events need the name of the event, networks, and types of events, hostnames, location or even start time (Cvijikj and Michahelles 2013). There are two types of events present in Facebook, which are public and private. The private events could not be found in the searches and are found by invitations only. The users, who are not invited in these private events, could not view the details or descriptions of that event. On the other hand, the public events could be viewed, and the description is present on the timeline publicly.

vi) User Friendly Interface: Another essential and important benefit of Facebook is that it provides user friendly interface. The platform of Facebook gives set of application programming interfaces or APIs as well as tools that allow the third party developers for integrating with an open graph via Facebook applications and external devices or websites (Kwan and Skoric 2013). This platform of Facebook has been evolved from the enabled development to web or devices. For its user friendly interface, Facebook is used by almost 2.27 billion users in today’s world.

vii) Shares Information: Apart from business news, Facebook even helps in sharing relevant and important information. It is the biggest source of information, which the users share on the website of Facebook regularly. The several users get information about anybody in the world irrespective of the time and location.

Essential Benefits of Facebook

viii) Allows Several Languages: The website of Facebook has thousands of pages in numerous languages in each and every country, which share confidential information for reading (Kwok and Yu 2013). Hence, it is extremely effective as well as efficient for every user, using this website of Facebook.

Networked individualism significantly represents the proper shift of classical models of various social arrangements that is being formed around the hierarchical bureaucracies and social groups, which are work groups for connecting to the individuals with the help of method provided by evolving the ICT or information and communication technology (Halpern and Gibbs 2013). Networked individualism is fostered by developing the social media network. Facebook should not be shut down because of networked individualism. The respective networked individuals or the users of Facebook are the members of the diversified groups, where these members seek into various things. These groups could even be dispersed in the world as well as the amalgamation of these networks for making it well networked and highly individualised (Enli and Skogerbø 2013). This particular concept of networked individualism even implies that there are various advantages for the future of the society. Thus, the Supreme Court of Justice should think of the Facebook shutting down.


Therefore, from the above discussion, it can be concluded that Facebook is the most popular social networking site that has provided several benefits to its users. Communication is the first and the foremost advantage of this social networking site and thus connecting with the other persons is more comfortable and prompter. The next advantage of this social networking site is business. The business-persons can create the page or group to publish the product images, details and prices for getting more involved with the customers. The founder of Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg and it was founded in the year of 2004. The above essay has clearly outlined the case study of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg was forced to shut down Facebook for the core reason of misusing the data. He was accused of making such a website, which misuses data to a great extent. This essay provides a brief demonstration that is being sent to the Supreme Court of Justice for outlining the essential benefits that Facebook has and these benefits do not justify harsh ruling. Relevant details are provided in this essay to understand the advantages with theories and studies.


Bakshy, E., Messing, S. and Adamic, L.A., 2015. Exposure to ideologically diverse news and opinion on Facebook. Science, 348(6239), pp.1130-1132.

Cvijikj, I.P. and Michahelles, F., 2013. Online engagement factors on Facebook brand pages. Social Network Analysis and Mining, 3(4), pp.843-861.

Ellison, N.B., Vitak, J., Gray, R. and Lampe, C., 2014. Cultivating social resources on social network sites: Facebook relationship maintenance behaviors and their role in social capital processes. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(4), pp.855-870.

Enli, G.S. and Skogerbø, E., 2013. Personalized campaigns in party-centred politics: Twitter and Facebook as arenas for political communication. Information, Communication & Society, 16(5), pp.757-774.

Grieve, R., Indian, M., Witteveen, K., Tolan, G.A. and Marrington, J., 2013. Face-to-face or Facebook: Can social connectedness be derived online?. Computers in human behavior, 29(3), pp.604-609.

Halpern, D. and Gibbs, J., 2013. Social media as a catalyst for online deliberation? Exploring the affordances of Facebook and YouTube for political expression. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), pp.1159-1168.

Kross, E., Verduyn, P., Demiralp, E., Park, J., Lee, D.S., Lin, N., Shablack, H., Jonides, J. and Ybarra, O., 2013. Facebook use predicts declines in subjective well-being in young adults. PloS one, 8(8), p.e69841.

Kwan, G.C.E. and Skoric, M.M., 2013. Facebook bullying: An extension of battles in school. Computers in human behavior, 29(1), pp.16-25.

Kwok, L. and Yu, B., 2013. Spreading social media messages on Facebook: An analysis of restaurant business-to-consumer communications. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 54(1), pp.84-94.

Rieder, B., 2013, May. Studying Facebook via data extraction: the Netvizz application. In Proceedings of the 5th annual ACM web science conference (pp. 346-355). ACM.

Rosen, L.D., Carrier, L.M. and Cheever, N.A., 2013. Facebook and texting made me do it: Media-induced task-switching while studying. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), pp.948-958.

Russell, M.A., 2013. Mining the Social Web: Data Mining Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, GitHub, and More. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".

Sánchez, R.A., Cortijo, V. and Javed, U., 2014. Students' perceptions of Facebook for academic purposes. Computers & Education, 70, pp.138-149.

Seidman, G., 2013. Self-presentation and belonging on Facebook: How personality influences social media use and motivations. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(3), pp.402-407.

Stutzman, F., Gross, R. and Acquisti, A., 2013. Silent listeners: The evolution of privacy and disclosure on facebook. Journal of privacy and confidentiality, 4(2).

Van Dijck, J., 2013. ‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media, Culture & Society, 35(2), pp.199-215.

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