Social Media as Surveillance : Rethinking Visibility in a Converging World book cover
1st Edition

Social Media as Surveillance
Rethinking Visibility in a Converging World

ISBN 9781472455789
Published March 9, 2016 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

While there is a lot of popular and academic interest in social media, this is the first academic work which addresses its growing presence in the surveillance of everyday life. Some scholars have considered its impact on privacy, but these efforts overlook the broader risks for users. Commonsense recommendations of care and vigilance are not enough, as attempts to manage an individual presence are complicated by the features which make social media 'social'. Facebook friends routinely expose each other, and this information leaks from one context to another. This book develops a surveillance studies approach to social media by presenting first hand ethnographic research with a variety of personal and professional social media users. Using Facebook as a case-study, it describes growing monitoring practices that involve social media. What makes this study unique is that it not only considers social media surveillance as multi-purpose, but also shows how these different purposes augment one another, leading to a rapid spread of surveillance and visibility. Individual, institutional, market-based, security and intelligence forms of surveillance therefore co-exist with each other on the same site. Not only are they drawing from the same interface and information, but these practices also augment each other. This groundbreaking research considers the rapid growth and volatility of social media technology by treating these aspects as central to social media surveillance.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introducing Social Media Surveillance; Chapter 2 What Kind of Dwelling is Facebook? Scholarly Perspectives; Chapter 3 Interpersonal Social Media Surveillance; Chapter 4 Institutional Social Media Surveillance; Chapter 5 Market Social Media Surveillance; Chapter 6 Policing Social Media; Chapter 7 What’s Social About Social Media? Conclusions and Recommendations;

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Daniel Trottier is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Social and Digital Media at the University of Westminster, UK.


Prize: Winner, 2013 Surveillance Studies Network Annual Book Prize 'Internet platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google have become very popular in recent years. They process, store, analyse, and commodify a lot of personal data, usage behaviour data, communication data, and social network data. Daniel Trottier's book is a crucial and critical resource and must-read for all who want to understand the implications social media has for surveillance at the interpersonal and institutional level and for surveillance conducted by companies and the police.' Christian Fuchs, Uppsala University, Sweden ’Social media are not just sites that we visit, but increasingly places where we reside. Such spaces are manufactured to augment surveillance, fostering types of visibility that are central to new forms of sociality and power relations. Professor Trottier’s book is an invaluable analysis of how a complex assortment of groups are making a home in this new domain of interactive monitoring.’ Kevin D. Haggerty, University of Alberta, Canada ’Looking for a wide-ranging, well-informed, up-to-date critical sociology of social media surveillance, focused on the Facebook phenomenon? This is it.’ David Lyon, Queen's University, Canada 'Social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, have become information warehouses, processing, storing, and analyzing a wide range of personal, communication and usage behavior data. Daniel Trottier’s book Social Media as Surveillance is a great resource for readers to understand social media surveillance at the interpersonal or institutional levels, where surveillance has been conducted by individuals, companies, or the government agencies in the virtual world... Trottier’s research collects data through detailed interviews with interested parties, such as students, university employees, business owners, and police. These interviews not only reveal how social media is used as surveillance tools, but