Surveillance capitalism and the derision of the digital denizen


  • Mark Jacob Amiradakis University of the Free State, South Africa



Surveillance Capitalism, Digital denizen, Information and communication technologies (ICTs), Big data, Social media, Attentional economy


This article investigates the notion of the digital denizen and his/her relationship with modern informational and communicational technologies (ICTs) – including social media platforms and global search engines.

Particular attention is directed towards how such a relationship has resulted in the emergence of recent phenomena such as big data and surveillance capitalism. This investigation will then aim to elucidate the various strategies that the capitalistic enterprise of the 21st century has implemented via the various ICTs that now underpin extant society in order to both harness and hijack the attentional and cognitive faculties of the digital denizen so as to monetise every ounce of the attentional economy that the individual has to spare. As such, this investigation aims to highlight how this extractive process has resulted in the abject objectification and exploitation of the digital denizen, whilst also managing to result in a situation of attentional/retentional overload (on the part of the individual) which has resulted in the emaciation of the digital denizen’s attentional faculties - ultimately placing them in an vulnerable position in which exploitation and manipulation can effectively take place.


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