Abstract Social network sites are the new urban parks where people congregate, socialize and exercise leisure. Its web architectures however are being walled in, dictated by market systems and State ideologies. These cyber-enclosures are justified along the lines of privacy that garners protection, efficiency and functionality. There is significant concern for the potential irrevocable loss of the ‘public’ and ‘open’ character intended of internet infrastructures, fearing the fostering of social segregation, homogenization and corporatization of leisure and a loss of civic sense. This paper addresses these concerns by looking at contemporary material architectures that are shaping public social and leisure space, particularly gardens within gated communities and malls. It argues that for a comprehensive understanding on privacy and public leisure architectures, we need to recognize the parallels between these virtual and material spheres as social norms, values and laws permeate these boundaries.

information infrastructures, internet, privacy, social network sites, walled gardens, web architectures
ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Paper delivered at the Amsterdam Privacy Conference, 2012
Department of Media and Communication

Arora, P.A. (2012). Walled Gardens: Privacy within Public Leisure Space Online and Offline. ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/38286