Response to Social Networking Ethics

These questions are in response to some articles on social networking. Articles here, here, here and here.

  1. When online chatting first became popular in the 1990s and early 2000s, there was so much talk about child predators and whole shows based on it – To Catch a Predator anyone? Now, we don’t hear about that as much. Moms and dads warn their kids, etc. The new thing seems to be cyberbullying. I am wondering if these are things we just adapt to and if we create new social norms. In 10 years will be as worried about Internet privacy as we are now?
  2. When boyd talks about the Internet “having no walls” it brings me back to our discussion about Lessig and control and policing. She describes the Internet as a public place and describes it as a hangout for teens, much like a park or mall. If things get out of hand there, authorities are called…what happens when things get out of hand on the Internet?
  3. After hearing Réhab El-Bakry speak last week, I was reminded why anonymity can be important on social networks. Facebook really works hard to prevent pseudonyms. I am wondering if they could implement in these tough situations where anonymity is so important by using a convention Twitter uses – verification. If it’s a pretty important person, they can get verified. If it’s just a regular person, there’s no need.
  4. I actually read a danah boyd article for my research paper and had this bonus question: why does she choose to spell her name with lowercase letters? There’s a whole page about it on her website: http://www.danah.org/name.html.
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