Now more than ever, we need to understand social media - the good as well as the bad. We need critical knowledge that helps us to navigate the controversies and contradictions of this complex digital media landscape. Only then can we make informed judgements about what's happening in our media world, and why.

Showing the reader how to ask the right kinds of questions about social media, Christian Fuchs takes us on a journey across social media, delving deep into case studies on Google, Facebook, Twitter, WikiLeaks and Wikipedia. The result lays bare the structures and power relations at the heart of our media landscape.

This book is the essential, critical guide for all students of media studies and sociology. Readers will never look at social media the same way again.

The Power and Political Economy of Social Media

The Power and Political Economy of Social Media

The power and political economy of social media

Key Questions

  • What are the ideologies and common myths that surround social media?
  • What is meant by the political economy of social media and how does this work?
  • What is digital labour and what role does it play within the political economy of social media?

Key Concepts

  • Political economy of social media
  • Digital labour
  • Social media ideologies
  • Corporate colonization of social media
  • Prosumption
  • Audience commodity
  • Internet prosumer commodity
  • Prosumer surveillance
  • Targeted advertising
  • Panoptic sorting
  • Global division of digital labour


Political economy analyzes the structural features of capitalism, such as the causes of crises, whereas ideology critique analyzes the claims that are made about reality and how true they are. If one wants to understand power, then one needs to analyze both ideology and political economy. For ...

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