'Social media' like Facebook or Twitter have become tremendously popular in recent years. Their popularity provides new opportunities for data collection by state and private companies, which requires a critical and theoretical focus on social media surveillance. The task of this paper is to outline a theoretical framework for defining social media surveillance in the context of contemporary society, identifying its principal characteristics, and understanding its broader societal implications. Social media surveillance is a form of surveillance in which different forms of sociality and individuals different social roles converge, so that surveillance becomes a monitoring of different activities in different social roles with the help of profiles that hold a complex networked multitude of data about humans.

communication theory, internet, social media, social theory, society, sociological theory, surveillance
dx.doi.org/10.1515/commun-2014-0029, hdl.handle.net/1765/90059
Communications: the European journal of communication research
This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/285635 - PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF SECURITY AND PRIVACY: ASSESSING KNOWLEDGE, COLLECTING EVIDENCE, TRANSLATING RESEARCH INTO ACTION (PACT)
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Fuchs, C, & Trottier, D. (2015). Towards a theoretical model of social media surveillance in contemporary society. Communications: the European journal of communication research, 40(1), 113–135. doi:10.1515/commun-2014-0029