Power, Metaphor, and the Closing of a Social Networking Site

Andrew Herrmann


This project expands root-metaphor analysis by examining the closure of a once popular social networking site, advancing critical interrogation of ownership vs. the idea of online spaces as “communities.” Yahoo! 360° participants used private sphere root-metaphors of home, family, and community constituting a space of intimacy, camaraderie, and care. The closing exposed previously unseen power differentials between participants and Yahoo! Participants reacted by using the metaphor of war and violence to frame the actions of Yahoo!


social networking; community; conflict; metaphor

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