Chapter 9

Big Brother Is Watching You

Collective Action and Surveillance in Social Media

Abstract

Using social media platforms, individuals are exposed to several dimensions of surveillance—state surveillance on the one hand and corporate surveillance on the other. Especially in authoritarian regimes, surveillance and its implications pose direct threat to activists, social movements, and collective action. Since the Snowden revelation, the dimensions of surveillance in Western democratic regimes are widely known. The business model of corporate social media, which is based on targeted advertising and the commodification of users’ data, makes corporate surveillance an immanent part of the platforms’ design. This chapter discusses the implications ...

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