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With the advent of the Internet that emerged as a new domain of interaction, human behavioral ethics have become more complex. An array of moral issues surrounds the Internet and digital technology, and not every one of them is addressed as there is not yet a guidebook or code of conduct in this new area called “technoethics”. In light of this, studying ethics in the context of the Internet becomes increasingly paramount and this is my reason for taking interest in it. This essay will explore the topic of technoethics, discuss its news coverage and give further detail on my motivation for researching it.
News Article Summary
The opinion article in the New York Times titled “The Internet will be the death of us” is centered on the idea that the Internet is a platform of hate and violence. The author argues that along with its qualities as a source of knowledge and wisdom, there is a dark side that gave rise to terrorism, unconstrained flow of hatred, racism, anti-Semitism, and narrow-mindedness due to anonymity and privacy (Bruni). Cesar Sayoc, Robert Bowers, Dylann Roof, and other mass murderers shared their convictions with the audience on the internet before committing their horrible crimes, from which the writer concludes that the Internet, is an issue that needs to be viewed from the standpoint of balance between free speech and stronger policing.
From the article, I learned about the need to establish some form of policy over the Internet, as it indeed may damage someone’s life. On the one hand, the freedom and security that the internet provides to people are what many people cherish about it. On the other hand, this very freedom lets people project violence onto others without being reprimanded for that. The complexity of this issue and the need for a resolution is what this news article provided to me in terms of technoethics knowledge. In light of this and the material learned in the lecture, my interest in the subject has increased.
One of the reasons why the topic is attractive to me is its challenging nature. Ethics is fluid, and there are often no right or wrong answers, which gives plenty of room for mental processing. Arguing for one’s position on ethical matters is a fascinating activity that often leads to a more detailed understanding of the subject in its complexity. Technoethics explores an area that seems to be vastly unregulated in terms of appropriate behavior and norms, which makes anyone who invests mental effort into it a researcher and a pioneer.
The information that sparked my interest in the topic was a definition of the meme concept that was featured in the lecture. It was defined there as “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture” (Indiana University Bloomington, slide 9). At that time, I thought of it as incomplete and wondered if it could be further improved by people who engage in scientific studies connected to the Internet. The normative side of the question is of particular interest here, as I possess no knowledge of the existence of any rules or patterns according to which something becomes a meme. Again, the offensive and moral sides of this matter could be a prominent issue to study.
The subject makes me feel excited to explore and resolve the ethical dilemmas, some of which we touched during the lecture. The idea of establishing something that would be counted as a moral code of the internet fascinates me and fuels my interest in the topic. I realize that such a “constitution” would likely require thousands of minds participating and wide media coverage to truly become a paradigm accepted by many people. Rodotà upholds this idea and argues that a problematic nature of the Internet status requires an official policy. Thus, the field of technoethics is full of unresolved issues, which are captivating to explore.
I have not considered a career in this sphere, as there seem to be no workplaces in the conventional sense of the word. The closest I can be to become employed in the area of technoethics is to become a teacher or a scientist. Yet, if a governmental department of internet studies and research emerges in some form, I will submit my CV there because the subject, as I have stated above, fascinates me with its problematic multifaceted nature and complexity.
As the topic becomes more urgent, it appears to be a matter of time before some official regulative policy begins to develop. Given that, a substantial body of research will be required to support the decision-making, which creates a solid opportunity to be employed as someone who knows technoethics. This notion further motivates me to study it and become more knowledgeable in this sphere.
In the course of this paper, the topic of technoethics was explored in terms of its news coverage, as well as its attractiveness for study. The key constituents of interest in it for me personally are its challenging nature, a variety of sub-topics and issues, my fascination with the idea of partaking in creating the internet constitution, and, to some extent, career perspectives. Overall, the lectures and the news article seem to contribute to my engagement in research and exploration of ethical dilemmas surrounding the internet and user behaviors.
Bruni, Frank. “The Internet Will Be the Death of Us.” The New York Times. 2018. Web.
Indiana University Bloomington. “Technoethics.” Info I101. Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana. n.d.
Rodotà, Stefano. “A Constitution for the Internet.” Federalist Debate, 2006. Web.