Social Networking Sites and the Surveillance Society: A Critical Case Study of the Usage of studiVZ, Facebook, and MySpace by Students in Salzburg in the Context of Electronic Surveillance

Advertising, business, community, privacy concerns, politics, sex, love – these are issues that are associated with the term social networking platforms in popular media clippings, such as the ones just cited. The examples, which certainly have differing depth, character, and quality, show that social networking sites (SNS) and what many term “Web 2.0” have become important topics all over the world and seem to shape economic, political, and cultural communication of contemporary society. Some see SNS as creating new opportunities for democracy, business, or entertainment. Others consider them as risk that will destroy culture and society. Many of these mass- mediated debates are oversimplified and one-sided. But nonetheless they show that there is an interest in the question how online communication tools transform society and our social relations.

Tags: Facebook, Mass Media, Social Media