MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library

    Social Media Surveillance in Social Work: Practice Realities and Ethical Implications

    Byrne, Julie and Kirwan, Gloria and Mc Guckin, Conor (2019) Social Media Surveillance in Social Work: Practice Realities and Ethical Implications. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 37 (2/3). ISSN 1522-8835

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    This article reports on findings from a study with recently qualified social workers on the use of social media in their practice. The findings reported here are drawn from a broader study on the use of electronic communications conducted with both newly qualified teachers and social workers. The focus group data reported here provide an insight into the practice realities associated with the use of social media by clients and social workers. The qualitative methodology employed helps to reveal the richness and complexity of technology use in practice. This rich picture reveals multidirectional surveillance, by clients and social workers, facilitated by social media. This includes surveillance by clients taking videos of meetings without consent. The article also highlights situations when social workers themselves consider it acceptable to gather information on clients through social media. The research identifies a range of ethical issues for social workers to navigate and highlights their need for support and guidance in the form of standards, codes, and education and training. The surveillance lens illuminates the ethical dilemmas being faced with reference to concepts such as power, privacy and consent as well as the broader debate of care and control in social work.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Confidentiality and privacy of information; electronic monitoring; impact of technology; networked society;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Applied Social Studies
    Item ID: 11188
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Gloria Kirwan
    Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 10:59
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Technology in Human Services
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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