YOU WORK FOR ZUCKERBERG BUT YOU DON’T GET PAID

Are you one of the more than seven hundred million users who use Facebook? Well, it means that almost every day you produce content for the network: content of all kinds, not least emotional and relational content. You are part of the general intellect of Facebook. In short, Facebook exists and works thanks to people like you. What is the Facebook name if not this collective intelligence, which is not produced by Zuckerberg and company, but by users? You actually work on Facebook. You don’t notice it, but you work. You work without getting paid. Others are making money from your work. Here the Marxian concept that comes in handy is that of “surplus labor”. It is not an abstruse concept: it means “the part of work which, while producing value, does not translate into wages but into the profit of the owner, as owner of the means of production”. Where there is profit, it means that there has been surplus labor. Otherwise, if all the work share were paid based on the value it created, well… it would be communism, the classless society. It is clear that the boss must pay less in wages than he will get from the sale of the goods. “Profit” means this. It means paying workers less than the real value of the work they do. For various reasons, the owner may not even be able to sell those goods. And so don’t make a profit. But this does not mean that the workers did not provide surplus labor. The entire capitalist society is based on surplus value and surplus labor. On Facebook, your work is all surplus labor, because you don’t get paid. Zuckerberg every day sells your surplus labor, that is, you sell your life (sensitive data, your browsing patterns, etc.) and your relationships, and earn several million dollars a day. Because he is the owner of the means of production, you don’t. Information is a commodity. Knowledge is a commodity. Indeed, in post-Fordism or whatever we want to call it, it is the commodity of commodities. It is a productive force and a commodity at the same time, just like the workforce. The community that uses Facebook produces information (on tastes, consumption patterns, market trends) that the owner packages in the form of statistics and sells to third parties and / or uses to personalize advertising, offers and transactions of various kinds. Furthermore, Facebook itself, as a representation of the largest network of relationships on the planet, is a commodity. The Facebook company can only sell information if, at the same time and relentlessly, it sells that representation of itself. This representation is also due to the users, but it is Zuckerberg who fills the bank account

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hetty Eliot
    Oct 06, 2021 @ 21:27:37

    One of the 1,000,000 reasons I don’t use Facebook

    Reply

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