How nonprofits use Facebook to craft infrastructure

Libby Hemphill, A. J. Million, Ingrid Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We present findings from interviews with 23 individuals affiliated with non-profit organizations (NPOs) to understand how they deploy information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their civic engagement efforts. Existing research about NPO ICT use is often critical, but we did not find evidence that NPOs fail to use tools effectively. Rather, we detail how NPOs assemble various ICTs to create infrastructures that align with their values. Overall, we find that existing theories about technology choice (e.g., tasktechnology fit, uses and gratifications) do not explain the assemblages NPOs describe. We argue that the infrastructures they fashion can be explained through the lens of moral economies rather than utility. Together, the rhetorics of infrastructure and moral economies capture the motivations and constraints our participants expressed and challenge how prevailing theories of ICT use describe the non-profit landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFirst Monday
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Law


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