Volume 9, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1740-8296
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0918



The commodification process on Facebook and LinkedIn limits the potential of mass self-communication on these SNS. This is especially noticeable with regard to personal identifiable information (PII) used in advertising. This article is an analysis of Facebook and LinkedIn through desk research and website analysis of their advertising products. We illustrate how the commodification of personal identifiable information influences user empowerment, defined as mass self-communication. We have found that users are not able to control production, selection and distribution of PII, when this information is used in advertising. The commodification of PII is now portraying and distributing user-generated content and PII differently. Economically interesting content is shown more prominently, but commercial messages are also invading UGC to become economically valuable.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): commodification; Facebook; LinkedIn; mass self-communication; privacy
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