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Running head: SURVEILLANCE MACHINE
Surveillance Machine
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
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SURVEILLANCE MACHINE
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Surveillance Machine
Nowadays, millions of people use Facebook for sharing their information,
communicating with friends, and expressing their ideas. This social network became the vital
element of people’s everyday life. Apart from connecting people, it holds the serious threat.
Facebook collects private information that can be used by this social network, governments, and
others for pressing individuals. Siva Viadhyanathan in his book considered this issue in detail
and defined the chief concern of Facebook’s commercial surveillance system as the
concentration power based on the access to enormous massive of personal data and ability to use
this power for humiliating others.
Facebook’s Commercial Surveillance System
Siva Vaishyanatha (2018) in the chapter The surveillance machine, in antisocial media:
How Facebook disconnects us and undermines democracy discussed the surveillance machine of
this social media with the focus on threats and dangers to users. The author stated the founder of
Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, created the social network, where each incident of “peer
surveillance becomes a part of a massive corporate surveillance system” when the photo was
uploaded to Instagram or Facebook with tags, which identify concrete time, location, people’s
names, their presence and movements to others (Vaishyanatha, 2018, p. 53). Similar to cameras
on mobile phones, Facebook acts as the tool for constant corporate surveillance that tracks
people’s location with focus on the correlation of tags with what was gathered. Additionally, this
system monitor’s people’s connections, posts, interests, and other activities, which reflect human
behavior (such as, real-life purchasing). In such a manner, Facebook has the possibility to collect
information about people’s private life, relationships, relative income and habits. This
information can be used by this social network, other individuals, and governments to harm
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targeted individual’s though posting and spreading revenge porn, exercising different forms of
harassment, unwanted exposure, and humiliation without punishment or even discovery.
This becomes possible because Facebook appreciates gathering and sharing of
information needed for effective sorting and sending. Facebook holds the rich collection of
different information about people and organizations; and practices colleting, using, and sharing
private data. This forms the strong background for Facebook’s massive system of surveillance.
This power can be used by Facebook, peers, and states for reaching some benefits through
creating the environment, when each person can be harassed and pressed through using of
private data. The society functioning in such environment can’t perform as informed, responsible
and engaged unity of citizens, because the significant part of the members of this society
silenced, harassed and threatened at every attempt to participate in public debate. Additionally.
Facebook users may suffer from the inability of this social media to collect the full set of data
about personal life and creation of inaccurate image and harmful reactions about a person. As per
author’s opinion, people can not adequately withstand to these threats they can not know the
ways in which he was being watched, profiled, manipulated and threatened. Thus, Facebook
users often does not care about surveillance and freely provide private information in this social
network. In such a manner, the chief concern of Facebook’s surveillance machine is the
concentration of enormous power over private life due to access to individual’s contacts, posts,
photos, actions, and connections.
Conclusion
To summarize, the author is partly correct. On the one hand Facebook surveillance
system allows collection too much personal data and use this information; use this information in
the way that abuse others; and even predicting others’ behaviors. However, on the other hand,
SURVEILLANCE MACHINE
this system increases people’s connectivity with other; allows them to get latest news, conduct
online social and political activities; and show relevant advertisings that correspond to users’
interests and hobbies. Consequently, Facebook surveillance system assures comfort of
communication with others and the world, but can be used for pressing on an individual.
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References
Vaidhyanathan, S. (2018). Chapter 2: The Surveillance Machine, in Antisocial Media in Antisocial media: How Facebook disconnects us and undermines democracy. New York,
USA: Oxford University Press
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