Kranzberg & Facebook

I’m going to have to stop thinking about Kranzberg’s laws of technology!  His first law basically sums up the unanticipated consequences of new technologies – the current Egypt situation 1 made me reflect about the nature of Facebook and Kranzberg.


Facebook was first ‘floated’ as a sort of idea by Mark Zuckerberg in 2003. Facemash was a prank – he hacked into the college computer system and created a site where other students could vote how attractive others were. The university banned the site. Zuckerberg was then involved with a group of learners trying to create a social network – from whom he later split (and got sued by).


From those early days of a ‘simple’ social network for students at Havard, Facebook evolved has developed into everything from a marketing tool, to education tool, to a tool for political change. The current Egypt situation is an example of Kranzberg’s first law of unanticipated consequences – who would have thought that Facebook would be a key communication tool for political change back in 2004.



  1. Giglio, Mike (2011) ‘In Egypt, Pushing Revolution by Internet’, Newsweek, (online) Available from: (Accessed 2 February 2011).

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