Social Media Surveillance ALC201

Social Media Surveillance ALC201 


Surveillance has always been a topic of interest for me, which follows my decision to create my module two video by examining the implications of social media surveillance. Researching this topic came easy, I was familiar with many of the terms however I struggled to focus in on one aspect of surveillance, so that I could manage my argument during a five minute period. However following the readings of Baruh and Soysal (2010) and Fuchs and Trottier (2015) I become drawn to the issue of ‘social media surveillance’.

My video observes several ways through which surveillance can interfere in our everyday lives, and engages the audience to consider the presence of surveillance in their own lives, especially since we are not aware of social media surveillance. Importantly my video tries to understand how and why we are being surveilled, and who exactly is collecting our data. I highlight important information from my selected readings to support my argument. The research took more time than expected, as I needed a solid foundation to lay my argument through video.

My argument was drawn to the implications of social media surveillance, rather than the positives and therefore required me to get a large scope of information regarding negative impacts, such as privacy breaches, data mining, consumer surveillance etcetera, so that my viewers fully understood the seriousness, and to what extent surveillance actually interferes with our lives.

I drew on Gates & Magnets reading ‘Communication research and the study of surveillance’ (2007) to inform viewers of the issue, and also provide necessary definitions to key words, including ‘social media surveillance’. Followed by Baruh and Soysal’s reading ‘Public intimacy and the new face (book) of surveillance: the role of social media in shaping contemporary dataveillance’ (2010) and the examination of what kind of information is collected and used. Baruh & Soysal (2010) also gave excellent insight into the reasoning behind our ‘over-sharing’ of information, which provided great background to my argument. Fuchs and Trottier revealed helpful information about the possible resources who are collecting our data and information in their reading Towards a theoretical model of social media surveillance in contemporary society’ (2015), including the possibilities of PRISM and other government interventions. Many of my sources were quite recent and I was confident my information was relevant.

A few editing issues delayed the production of the video, but I finally settled for using Windows Movie Maker. As I had never used video editing software before I was unsure of what to do, however I found that after playing around with the settings, this program was easy to use and sufficiently served its purpose. My video consists of several videos, voice recordings, background music, and quotes, and several images of various websites that surveillance usually takes place. Recording my speech was difficult, I found myself continuously becoming camera shy and forgetting my lines. Total filming time took around an hour, followed by an hour to edit the video together. I apologies for incorrect pronunciation of scholarly names, I was afraid this would take away from the videos content. Editing details into the video, including music, images and sound was the most enjoyable part for me. This module definitely challenged me to teach myself new skills in an area that I had no experience, I found it difficult without any guidance, but also found the end result so much more rewarding.

Reference List

Baruh, L and Soysal, L 2010, ‘Public intimacy and the new face (book) of surveillance: the role of social media in shaping contemporary dataveillance’, in Dumova, T and Fiordo, R (eds.), Handbook of Research on Social Interaction Technologies and Collaboration Software: Concepts and Trends, Information Science Reference, Hershey, pp. 392-403.

Gates, K and Magnet, S 2007, ‘Communication research and the study of surveillance’, The Communication Review, no. 10, pp. 277-87.

Trottier, D 2012, Social Media As Surveillance: Rethinking Visibility in a Converging World, Ashgate, Farnham.

Fuchs, C, & Trottier, D 2015, ‘Towards a theoretical model of social media surveillance in contemporary society’, Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 113-135.

Word Systems, Inc. 2015, ‘Surveillance. Types of surveillance: cameras, telephones etc. Word Systems, Inc. retrieved 15th September,

Microsoft 2015, Movie Maker, computer program, Microsoft Windows.

Social Media Surveillance ALC201, 2015, YouTube, Ashlie Mangiafico, 16th Sept, 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s