Shared is not yet Sharing, Or: What Makes Social Networking Services Public?


  • Marie-Luisa Frick
  • Andreas Oberprantacher



According to a libidinally charged slogan, Social Networking Services are meant to give “people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” But does the digital act of sharing personal information – invested in so many of the New Social Media – make such internet domains a public realm? What characterizes actually the public according to classical political theory, and what sort of performances become visible in digital fora under the banners of interactivity, friendship and an alleged dissolution of boundaries? Against the background of increasingly elastic borders between things considered private and spaces declared public as well as of a remarkable spectrum of modes of sharing – ranging from disclosing daily trivia to collectively expressing political dissent – our contribution will examine the ambivalence of sharing in Social Networking Services, not least in Facebook, in terms of a paradoxical nexus of passions and risks.




How to Cite

Frick, Marie-Luisa, and Andreas Oberprantacher. 2011. “Shared Is Not Yet Sharing, Or: What Makes Social Networking Services Public?”. The International Review of Information Ethics 15 (September). Edmonton, Canada:17-23.