The article takes an interdisciplinary look at how digital technologies can have an impact on today's society. The field of Media and Communication Studies (MCS), in particular, can help in various ways towards better understanding the relationship between social media, privacy and empowerment. We discuss how MCS can enrich technological privacy research on these topics, in the way that it looks at new media as (technological) tools for mediation. The latter perspective incorporates three inextricable and mutually determining components: artefacts, practices and social arrangements. This threefold approach offers a particular value for better understanding privacy in technologically mediated communications, while avoiding the reductionist view of technological determinism. To illustrate our viewpoint we use the example of the role of algorithms in the social interaction between people. We conclude that a multifaceted perspective on media and communication between people changes and broadens the framing of online privacy and user empowerment. It also helps to delineate a realistic and multidimensional picture of users and their new media usage. In that way we are able to frame people's communication behaviour more holistically, taking fully into account their attitudes, beliefs, values and practices in digital systems.
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