The Empire Likes Back: Interpreting Social Media Brand Actions as a Colonial Force

Kathryn Waite, Finola Kerrigan, Cagri Yalkin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A long time ago in a World Wide Web far, far away... commentators spoke of a “digital frontier” containing “digital natives”; the generation “surrounded by and using computers, videogames, dig-ital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age”, im-mersed in technology from birth like a fish in water (Prensky 2001:1, Bennett et al, 2008). However, the digital utopia has been replaced by a “post truth” reality in which: Big Data is the “new oil”; in which a “snowflake generation” live in social bubbles of curated “clickbait” content that harvests their attention (Tait 2017, Morantz, 2015,Wu 2016) and in which programmic adver-tising directs the marketing spend of major brands to political extremists (Cox and Rodionova, 2017). As such, we argue that social media brand actions are the colonial force creating this dys-functional online “Empire”.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2017
EventEIASM : Workshop on Interpretive Consumer Research - Stockholm University Business School, Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 27 Apr 201728 Apr 2017
Conference number: 9


Abbreviated titleICR
Internet address


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