Sauntering and Mourning among Facebook’s Dead
This paper tackles the issues of death, dying and commemorating the dead in contemporary digital communities. Specifically, it does so through a perspective drawing both from recent research in the death studies field and from cultural semiotics. The focus of attention is Facebook’s appropriation of the concept of death and the rituals of mourning surrounding it: we provide a description of Facebook’s rhetorical devices employed in order to implement the experience of grief into its interface, further establishing its role as one of the major vectors of digital sociality. Then, we endeavour into a critical analysis of Facebook’s treatment of death and mourners, trying to pinpoint the ideological biases that condition its approach to them and, in general, tackling Facebook’s bond with pre-existing traditional practices of grieving and burial.
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