Jeremy Weissman is Mudd postdoctoral ethics fellow at the Roger Mudd Center at Washington and Lee University.
IntroductionPart I: Conformity 1. The Human Animal in Civilized Society2. Social Media as an Escape from Freedom3. Meaninglessness in the Present Age Part II: Control 4. The Spectacular Power of the Public 5. 'P2P' Surveillance and Control
6. The Net of Noramlization
Part III: Resistance
7. Freedom from the Public Eye
8. Strategies of ResistanceBibliography
In The Crowdsourced Panopticon, philosopher Jeremy Weissman has taken on one of the most pressing issues affecting contemporary societies: the role of surveillance on social media. As our world becomes increasingly digitised, and more and more of our interactions are mediated through the internet, social media has become an inescapable part of life for billions of people. These technologies exhibit a kind of social power that has never been seen before in history, and Weissman claims that this power has ever growing influence over our behaviour.... The Crowdsourced Panopticon is a welcome addition to the scholarly work on surveillance and privacy, but the clear, approachable writing style and wealth of empirical examples make it just as accessible to non-experts. Weissman has certainly done his part to increase awareness of how social media affects our behaviour, and has laid the foundations for how we might behave in the future.
Jeremy Weissman’s chilling account of a future in which digital technology is fully enmeshed in the fabric of society and our human selves is no science fantasy. It is lucidly argued with enormous clarity and imagination. Warnings of this gripping book are informed by classical parables and centuries of philosophical thinking about human aspirations and ethical values combined with a unique grasp of on-the-ground realities of digital life.
To avoid dystopias you need to know what it takes to create them—how to engineer people to conform to harmful norms and participate in practices that erode freedom and perpetuate injustice. The Crowdsourced Panopticon presents a powerful philosophical warning for resisting the detrimental programmed behavior encouraged on social media and afforded by so-called smart devices.
Social media and smart technologies are radically changing the ways humans envision themselves as individuals and in communities. Jeremy Weissman is one of the few who discerns both the exciting possibilities they offer while also recognizing where they may diminish rather than enhance what makes us fully human. This work exemplifies the best kind of ethical and policy analysis of emerging technologies.