Foucault and social media: life in a virtual panopticon

Conscious and permanent visibility’…’ Apparantly this is what Mark Zuckerberg thinks social media is all about. By making our actions and shares visible to a crowd, social media exposes us to a kind of virtual Panopticon. This is not just because our activities are monitored and recorded by the social media service for the purposes of producing market analysis or generating targeted advertising. For the most part, we can and do ignore this kind of data harvesting. The surveillance that directly affects us and impacts on our behaviour comes from the people with whom we share.

Tim Rayner likens (via Foucault) social media to a virtual panopticon—a circular prison with a guard occupying the center, from which the behavior of all prisoners is visible.

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