Facebook In Muslim Communities Essay

1188 words - 5 pages

At the age of globalization, the whole planet seems to be readily accessible. Before the advent of the Internet, no American can talk to a Greenlander with the comfort of his chair. Now, people of different color, age and beliefs can now convene through social networking sites. Among all the social networking sites, the most popular and people’s number one usage is “Facebook.” According to the Top Ten Reviews Social Networking Sites review, Facebook is currently the largest social networking site today, followed by MySpace and Bebo (“Top Ten Reviews). Its very accessible and user-friendly features make this site popular especially among the adolescents who wanted social connection and interaction with just a couple of clicks. However, there has been a lot of controversy regarding the expansion of Facebook in conservative Muslim countries, as there have been reported cases of blasphemous posts and “immoral” acts that deeply offended the Muslim communities. Other than this, the American roots of the social network gave rise to hostile reactions, which of course can be rooted in political reasons. This paper will study how Facebook as a vehicle of cultural globalization affects the local cultural identity of Muslim countries and how Facebook is, in fact, a very potent tool to open bonds to the traditionally inaccessible nature of these countries. This paper will prove that Facebook does not “destroy” culture, but rather gives more options of connection to people from all corners of the world and thus create a plurality of individuals in the cyberspace community.
Facebook was originally created by four Harvard University students. They are Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, initially as an online literal “Face book” wherein students, primarily of Harvard University, can post information about themselves, which will be available among the public. Facebook’s popularity rose and afterwards incorporated certain features such as photo uploading, applications and games (Carson). This opened Facebook to the global public, leading to their eventual expansion in the different continent. Facebook is now the most highly visited site in Malaysia, Hongkong, Philippines and many others.
The idea of Facebook is much that of a typical social networking site; a community which spouses the bringing out of the self, individual expression and social interaction—thus, a very libertarian space. Facebook is therefore grounded upon the genuinely American ideals of individual freedom and in this sense Facebook is able to hold its own roots. Hence, Facebook can be considered as a tool for the globalization of the American ideals and culture. Of course, it can also be argued that Facebook is not by any means “American”, primarily because it is only a “tool”, or medium that can be used by anyone, American or not, and it is rather the content the what is must be counted as the “being” of the message. Hence, Facebook does not uphold and...

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