Towards a theoretical model of social media surveillance in contemporary society

Communications 40 (1):113-135 (2015)
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‘Social media’ like Facebook or Twitter have become tremendously popular in recent years. Their popularity provides new opportunities for data collection by state and private companies, which requires a critical and theoretical focus on social media surveillance. The task of this paper is to outline a theoretical framework for defining social media surveillance in the context of contemporary society, identifying its principal characteristics, and understanding its broader societal implications. Social media surveillance is a form of surveillance in which different forms of sociality and individuals different social roles converge, so that surveillance becomes a monitoring of different activities in different social roles with the help of profiles that hold a complex networked multitude of data about humans.



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