Media and communication

Flattr XI: The ambiguity


Flattr tries to encourage people to share. Not only pieces of content, but also some money to support the people who created them. With love!

(Flattr 2012)

The text is written with Flattr in third person, which may have been used to make the message seem more objective. The organization behind the network writes that Flattr tries to encourage people to share, just like CouchSurfing alluded to a mission in spreading their beliefs, Flattr also wants to spread theirs about how you should share. But in Flattrs case they speak clearly that it is money that should be shared in order to support those who created the content. And they conclude by writing ”With love!”. We suspect, as in with CouchSurfing, the approach on the humanitarian good and benignant and therefore can see a clear link to values ​​and norms of gift culture in Flattr’s discourse.


We can on the other hand see Olsson’s (2012) call for the creation of a secret content available only to those who donated, a controversial value in the network. It’s a contradiction against Flattr’s constant discourse about how content should be freely available to all, Olsson implies that the creators should create a content only to those who gave them money. This can be likened to what traditional media companies do when they sell content and only payers get to see it. Here Flattr thus conveys a classic capitalist discourse regarding payment.



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