Facebook, the Media and Democracy: Big Tech, Small State?, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Facebook, the Media and Democracy

Big Tech, Small State?, 1st Edition

By Leighton Andrews


124 pages

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Hardback: 9781138608979
pub: 2019-09-10
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Facebook, the Media and Democracy examines Facebook Inc. and the impact that it has had and continues to have on media and democracy around the world.

Drawing on interviews with Facebook users of different kinds and dialogue with politicians, regulators, civil society and media commentators, as well as detailed documentary scrutiny of legislative and regulatory proposals and Facebook’s corporate statements, the book presents a comprehensive but clear overview of the current debate around Facebook and the global debate on the regulation of social media in the era of ‘surveillance capitalism.’ Chapters examine the business and growing institutional power of Facebook as it has unfolded over the fifteen years since its creation, the benefits and meanings that it has provided for its users, its disruptive challenge to the contemporary media environment, its shaping of conversations, and the emerging calls for its further regulation. The book considers Facebook’s alleged role in the rise of democratic movements around the world as well as its suggested role in the election of Donald Trump and the UK vote to leave the European Union.

This book argues that Facebook, in some shape or form, is likely to be with us into the foreseeable future and that how we address the societal challenges that it provokes, and the economic system that underpins it, will define how human societies demonstrate their capacity to protect and enhance democracy and ensure that no corporation can set itself above democratic institutions. This is an important research volume for academics and researchers in the areas of media studies, communications, social media and political science.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The mounting monopoly

Chapter 2 Silicon calues: big tech, small state

Chapter 3 The benefits of Facebook

Chapter 4 The Facebook system

Chapter 5 Facebook and the media

Chapter 6 Facebook and democracy

Chapter 7 Regulating Facebook’s dominance

Conclusion: digital gangsters, morally bankrupt liars or just serial offenders?

About the Author

Leighton Andrews is a professor of practice in Public Service Leadership and Innovation in Cardiff Business School. He was an elected politician, serving in the National Assembly for Wales from 2003 to 2016, and was a Minister in the Welsh Government between 2007 and 2016. He is a former head of Public Affairs for the BBC in London, responsible for the corporation’s relationships with the UK and European Parliaments. He is the author of Wales Says Yes (1999), Ministering to Education (2014) and academic articles on a variety of subjects, including broadcasting policy and technology regulation.

About the Series


Studies in Digital Journalism

The Disruptions: Studies in Digital Journalism series features ground breaking short form publications which engage with cutting edge technological and critical developments and debates in contemporary digital journalism theory and practice. Titles in the series explore emerging hot topics, present detailed case studies and offer new assessments of theoretical and conceptual innovations in relation to subjects including digital journalism ethics, robot news, data journalism, web metrics and online surveillance. Titles respond quickly to the latest developments in the field and showcase the work of best new and established critical thinkers in this vibrant and emerging area.


For more information on submitting a proposal for the series, please contact Bob Franklin at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies