How might one justify the claim that Facebook is an especially American institution?

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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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One might justify the claim that Facebook is an American institution by making a variety of arguments, including the following:

  • Facebook was founded by Americans, in the United States, and had its initial success in America.
  • Facebook epitomizes some values that are often thought of as strongly American, such as individualism, self-expression, technical innovation in general, and innovation in the computer industry in particular. Indeed, the computer industry itself has extremely strong links with the United States, and so it is not surprising that Facebook first began and first flourished in the U. S.
  • A Wikipedia article (linked below) notes that

According to Social Media Today, in April 2010 an estimated 41.6% of the U.S. population had a Facebook account.

Since millions of people living in the U. S. are too young to use computers or to be legally eligible for Facebook accounts, the number of teenage and adult Facebook users, as a percentage of their population groups, must be even higher than 41.6%.

  • Facebook apparently interests enough people in the United States that a major Hollywood film company was financially and critically successful in making a film (The Social Network) about the origins of the company.
  • Facebook is often mentioned in popular culture and popular media in the U. S.
  • Facebook has even played an official role in recent political debates (see article linked below).
  • Most major American politicians now have Facebook pages, as do many other prominent American personalities.
  • Most major (and many minor) American businesses now have Facebook pages.

In short, Facebook, in the less than ten years since its founding, has become a highly visible and omnipresent element in American culture, and there seems little likelihood that this fact will change anytime soon.





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