New book on social media and power structures in contemporary society

13 January 2014

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"Social Media: A Critical Introduction" by Christian Fuchs, Professor of Social Media at the University of Westminster, provides a broad introduction to how social media have changed society and how society’s power structures shape social media.

Released by Sage Publications, the book presents case studies of platforms such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Wikipedia and WikiLeaks.

Christian Fuchs commented:

“The book shows that economic and political power structures that define the way we live in a situation of deep crisis manifest themselves on social media. This development is evidenced by a broad range of phenomena, such as Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s Prism project of Internet surveillance, discussions about the role of social media in the Arab Spring, anti-austerity protests or the London riots; concerns about Google and Facebook’s privacy policies, terms of use and data processing strategies; consumer protectionists’ worries about targeted advertising, global Internet companies’ tax avoidance strategies, the rise of new forms of unpaid, crowd-sourced labour on the Internet, the strong financialisation of social media companies, Internet whistle-blowing in the times of WikiLeaks, discussions about copyrights in light of the Pirate Bay, or new forms of hacktivism such as Anonymous."

"Social Media: A Critical Introduction" is the essential, critical guide for understanding social media. It lays bare the structures and power relations at the heart of our media landscape.

The book’s publication stands in the context of Christian Fuchs’ appointment to a new professorship of social media at the University of Westminster that has launched the Centre for Social Media Research and a new MA programme in Social Media.

Prof. Fuchs will give his professorial inauguration lecture “Social Media and the Public Sphere" on February 19th at the University of Westminster. The lecture will discuss how social media relate to the changes of the relationship between the public and the private that we are experiencing today and how these developments are shaped by and shape power structures. Reserve a place for this event now.

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