Publicized Intimacies in Social Media & Surveillance Presentation

Publicized Intimacies in Social Media & Surveillance Presentation

The use of social media such as Facebook and MySpace presupposes the disclosure of private information as a crucial component of one’s identity formation. Despite its public nature, this act of subjective expression is introspective in that it requires careful self-evaluation of the overall coherence of such voluntarily-revealed components of one’s identity. Paradoxically, the revealed information supposed to communicate the complexity of one’s identity ends up becoming the most extensive source of data about individuals thereby producing new forms of surveillance. The new regime of surveillance is characterized by 1) disregard for the contextual integrity of each piece of information and 2) increased uncertainty regarding the criteria used to distinguish between “risks” and “prospects”. Consequently, this discriminatory system, often based on automated dataveillance, may assign the individual to a category in a way that not only ignores the complexity of her modular identity but also is virtually impossible to challenge because of its automated nature and its resulting aura of objectivity.

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