Crowdsourcing the mainstream. An analysis of the most frequently posted links on Facebook
(Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland)
ABSTRACT: The article aims at investigating whether link-posting of Facebook users results inreproducing the hegemony of corporate-led mainstream cultural productions. A detailed analysis of 103 links shared 16,735 times by 6,344 Facebook users is presented. The following research finds that although a vast majority of the most often posted links points to corporate content, especially music videos, the proliferative power of Facebook enables some user-generated content to become enormously popular. This user-generated content represents mainly the ideas contrary to the ones dominating mainstream media. Links of this kind are more likely to be shared by older users. The reproduction of the corporate mainstream on Facebook is primarily due to female users, younger ones, users who inhabit larger cities, who have fewer friends, and are less culturally competent. Further analysis suggests that posting links to mainstream content may serve as a strategy of social compensation.