Asher Kessler

Asher Kessler

PhD Researcher

Department of Media and Communications

Connect with me

Key Expertise
Facebook, Internet History, Platforms, Political Theory, Social Media

About me

Research topic

An Intellectual History of Facebook/Meta

I received ESRC funding to conduct an Intellectual History of Facebook/Meta. My research broadly examines the ways in which political and philosophical ideas have shaped Facebook/Meta.

My research views Facebook/Meta as a product of the historical and geographical contexts from which it arose. It examines the company in relation to broader histories of American ideologies, the history of computer and internet culture, and the history of utopian thought.

My research interests are two pronged. Firstly, I examine how certain actors within Meta have conceived of ‘Privacy’, ‘Community’ and ‘Freedom’ over several decades, as well as the norms tied to these concepts. More broadly, my research considers how actors in Meta’s history have utilised these concepts and norms, and how this relates to the history of ideologies in 21st century America.

Secondly, I am conducting research in Facebook’s vision of the metaverse. I am interested in the relation between Meta’s projection of the metaverse and the history of utopian thought, as well as the structures that conditioned Facebook’s rebranding to Meta.

Supervisors: Professor Robin Mansell and Professor Nick Couldry


I received an MA in Philosophy & Politics at the University of Edinburgh, where I focused on the history of social and political thought. I received an MSc in Theory and History of International Relations from LSE in 2019, for which I was awarded the Medlicott Prize for my research.

After graduating, I worked as a journalist for three years. In 2017, I received the Peter Kirk Scholarship to research and write on refugee integration in Sweden and Germany. I also covered Science and Technology for the Conversation UK. Between 2019-2021, I reported on British, Irish and Scandinavian politics for the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun. During this time, I edited several non-fiction books on Politics and Foreign Policy for Nomad Publishing.

Expertise Details

Facebook; Internet History; Platforms; Political Theory; Social Media