Surveillance

Authored by: Arne Hintz

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138665569
eBook ISBN: 9781315619811
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315619811-68

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Abstract

Citizens have historically used a variety of media to intervene in public space. However, as part of this, they have been subjected to different types of state and corporate surveillance. Alternative and social movement media have been targeted by state surveillance, and the broad range of online citizen media, as the Snowden revelations demonstrated, are heavily monitored and analysed by both commercial platforms and state agencies. What, then, are the implications and challenges of surveillance and (data-based) monitoring for citizen media? And how can citizen media, in turn, serve to tackle those challenges? This entry will address three dimensions of this connection between citizen media and surveillance. First, it will explore the consequences of state and commercial surveillance for (both online and offline) citizen media practices and will discuss, for example, the ‘chilling effect’ of surveillance on free expression. Secondly, it will investigate the possibilities of citizen media to uncover and counter-act surveillance, for example through ‘sousveillance’ strategies. Finally, it will explore the broader implications of surveillance for state-citizen relations. While citizen media have long been a key component of active citizenship and its empowering implications, the power shifts implied by surveillance require us to re-think the role of citizen media, particularly in digital environments.

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