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Social Media and Privacy: Relationships and Online Surveillance Essays

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Online Surveillance
The negative consequences of online surveillance are consistent media headliners cautioning users to be wise with their sensitive information. This research address both positive and negative outlooks of online surveillance. According to Lee Humphreys’ article “Who’s Watching Whom? A Study of Interactive Technology and Surveillance”, a yearlong experiment explored how people think about privacy and surveillance when using mobile social networks (Humphreys 2011, 575). In examining Google’s Dodgeball, a mobile service like foursquare that allowed users to provide their location-based information with others, they discovered that “most informants were not concerned about privacy when using the mobile social network because they felt they were in control of their personal information” (Humphreys 2011, 576, 578). Researchers concluded there are three kinds of surveillance present in today’s social media era: voluntary panopticon, lateral surveillance, and self-surveillance (Humphreys 2011, 577).
This study thoroughly deepens the understanding of modern privacy by focusing on the growing presence of social media access cell phones (Humphreys 2011, 576). “In the United States, over 302 million people are mobile phone subscribers” and it is predicted that by 2020 most individuals worldwide would have mobile Internet access (Humphreys 2011, 575). This has created questions regarding social media expectations, norms, and understandings about privacy and surveillance when broadcasting personal and locational information (Humphreys 2011, 577). “Privacy has been defined as the ability to control what information about one is available to others. When one cannot control what information about oneself others know, one ma...


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Humphreys, L. "Who’s Watching Whom? A Study of Interactive Technology and Surveillance." Journal of Communication 61 (2011): 575-595. Print.
Kanter, M., Afifi, T. and Robbins, S. (2012), “The Impact of Parents “Friending” Their Young Adult Child on Facebook on Perceptions of Parental Privacy Invasions and Parent–Child Relationship Quality”. Journal of Communication, 62: 900–917. Print.
Kaveri S., and Greenfield P. "Online Communication And Adolescent Relationships." Journal of Communication 18.1 (2009): 119-146. Print.

Trottier, D. (2012). Interpersonal Surveillance on Social Media. Canadian Journal Of Communication, 37(2), 319-332.
Youmans, W. L., and York J.C. "Social Media and the Activist Toolkit: User Agreements, Corporate Interests, and the Information Infrastructure of Modern Social Movements." Journal of Communication 62.2 (2012): 315-329. Print.



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