Online Social Networking As Participatory Surveillance Essays

Online Social Networking As Participatory Surveillance Essays

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Article 1: Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveillance by Anders Albrechtslund
Albrechtslund, A. (2008). Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveillance.First Monday, 13(3). Retrieved from
In the article Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveillance, Albrechtslund makes numerous claims regarding privacy and social networking. He discusses three main research questions that create the fundamental backbone of his research. The questions can be simplified to ask (1) What is social networking?, (2) What kind of discourse is involved in social media? and (3) Is social networking violating or empowering users? The article goes on to answer each of these questions by analyzing the practice of online social networking through space, place and time.
After a general understanding of social networking is established, the author reviews the negative discourse that surrounds social networking including the dangers of cyberspace through sections entitled “A snoop’s dream” and “Moral panics”. This section of the article has a main focus upon the negative connotations that surround social media surveillance, but this is combatted with the quote “While privacy may be at risk in social networking sites, information is willingly provided. Different factors are likely to drive information revelation in online social networks.”
Simply put, people themselves are the ultimate privacy filter on what they do and do not place on the internet. Once data is released it is much like a “leaky container” where information is out on the internet in pieces th...

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...ese online communities, they can be on the lookout for signs and signals that might indicate misuse of the internet.

However, the biggest issue that arises when students are confronted with these online communities is the culture shift that has occurred over the past 10 to 15 years where people believe that their information remains private if they say that it does. Technology has transformed the way that humans interact on a daily basis and we must not become technologically illiterate because “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” That quote by writer and futurist Alvin Toffler speaks to those who believe that privacy is the same nowadays than 10 years ago. This is an ever present issue that needs to be addressed if we are to continue to protect our young adults.

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