“Freecycling”is a concept promoting the act of giving away usable unwanted items to others for free instead of disposing of them in landfills. “Oh! Yes! It’s free” is a platform founded in Kong Kong in 2012 grounded with the vision of freecycling; riding on Facebook.com allowing members of the community to coordinate the exchange of goods in local geographic setting.

Mainstream media generally described the act of giving initiated by this Facebook community as an altruistic act for saving environment or community caring. However, some scholars in media studies share a different view. They suggested self-interest of individuals is the key motivation in perpetuating the online gift economy. The act of giving is regarded as a rational economic action: self-interest, calculation, weighing of cost and benefits and maximization of predefined utilities with ambiguity in reciprocity.

I pursue this line of enquiry by examining the opposed claims above. Whether the motivation to participate is interestedness or disinterestedness? This paper is to unfold the motivations of the act of giving and explore the motivation from self-interest and altruism.

Recommended Citation

POON, Hoi-yu Polly (2014). Freecycling via Facebook : altruism or self-interest. Cultural Studies@Lingnan, 39. Retrieved from http://commons.ln.edu.hk/mcsln/vol39/iss1/1/