How Social Media Surveillance can get you Fired

ALC205 Group Collaboration
Group 39

Ashlie Williamson
Mayzsa Bianda Kori
Sarah Evans

The convenience of social media has become so distracting that we often fail to realise that the content we post is constantly being monitored, and often by unknown sources. A prevalent issue surrounding this is social media surveillance in the workplace. Our video below demonstrates how a seemingly innocent Facebook post can be detrimental to an employee’s position in an organisation.

Different Options Considered For Video

At the initial planning stage our group was deciding between approaching a documentary or a news report style. After deciding against the documentary style, due to the limited 5-7 minute time frame, we decided that a news report was the most efficient style. From this idea our group began the brainstorming process which lead to the decision to approach the news report in a more current affair style program. As digital media surveillance is such a broad term, our group decided to focus on a specific topic, and delve into that deeper. We then narrowed down the choices to celebrity culture and social media surveillance, social media was the chosen favourite as the appeal to take it in various directions. After receiving the green light from Adam to go ahead, as seen in the tweet below, we began to discuss the structure of the video.

Originally we looked into incorporating comedic elements into the piece, but when we choose to do social media and employment, we took a more serious direction with the video. Various ideas throughout the video changed as well, originally we were planning to have a separate ‘host’ and ‘journalist’ however for structure to flow it made more sense to combine these roles together. Our group also decided to add the part of the human resource manager, as we felt like it strengthen the argument from the CEO and companies perspective.

The Process Undertaken To Prepare For and Make The Video

The general planning of our video occurred on various levels, at first we discussed ideas and came up with the overall structure and basis of the video. From this we placed all the ideas and brainstorming into Ideament application and Gliffy mind maps so we could continue to have ideas grow and refer to them at a later date. Google Drive was the platform that we used to store, share and edit various elements of the project. The scripts and structure of the video were all available on Google Drive. This was beneficial because we all had access to the drive to contribute our own ideas for various sections. Google Drive allowed us to work well together and really brought the collaboration to life. This was crucial for us in the pre-production stages of the video as we stored various notes and information derived from the Skype conversations.  The majority of our discussion in both pre and post-production stages of our video occurred over Skype, this platform made it easy to have conversations, send links to various documents and to video call. Video calling was the most successful collaborative technique used throughout the whole process. We used other various elements in order to finalise our video and add the final touches, some of which included Soundcloud, and a ‘fake’ Facebook status generator.  

For the actual production of our video the tasks were delegated so every group member would have their own section to focus on. This included Ashlie who acted as the host/journalist of MediaNews, Sarah who filmed the footage of the CEO and HR manager, she (Sarah) then later had to performed the role of the employee, to fill in for an original member who dropped out of the unit a week prior to the assessment due date. And finally Mayzsa, who was allocated the role of editing our video.  Mayzsa edited our video using iMovie, this was a program she was familiar with and it had the necessary news reporting themes and sound effects to make the video appear like a real current affair program.  The inclusion of sound effects, background music and the structure of the host throughout the video, allowed for the audience to easily associated our video with a news report.  During the early stages of the film, while the host was introducing the case, we presented an image of the ‘Facebook status’ in question. This technique was effective in establishing themes of the news report, as this can typically be seen in a current affair style program.  However the editing did not come without challenges, Mayzsa found it challenging to be able to balance all the footage out, making it flow especially when it was obtained via various sources. While at the same time, still needing to hold the themes of a news report without just appearing to be interviews.

The Intended Meaning(s) and Message(s) Conveyed In The Video

Our intended message behind the video was to explore the implications of social media surveillance in the workforce, and demonstrate how public and private social media activity can be tracked and by your employer. To follow the news reporter theme, we argued both the perspective of the employee and the CEO in order to remain impartial, the video conveys this by transitioning between shots of the different characters to allow the audience to see both sides. By doing so we were able to demonstrate the importance for not only employees to be careful about the content that they post, but also for organisations to monitor incoming social media activity that relates to their business. Our video also highlights issues relating to the invasion of employee privacy of the CEO by conducting social media surveillance without employee knowledge. It also considers matters of defamation when arguing that the content posted was damaging to the organisation’s reputation. Our video poses the questions, is social media surveillance beneficial for companies, but detrimental for employees? Is it an invasion of privacy? And should all employees be notified that their social media accounts are in fact being monitored? This allows for the audience to make their own decisions on the topic.  

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