This talk will identify some of the major 'moral panics' generated by public discourse on the use and impacts of the Internet.

WikiLeaks and pro-democracy protests across the Arab world are just two of many recent examples of developments that have fuelled concerns – panics in some cases – over the social and political implications of the Internet. This talk will identify some of the major ‘moral panics’ generated by public discourse on the use and impacts of the Internet. Is the Internet jeopardizing security, destroying privacy, and undermining the quality of information as well as real interpersonal communication and friendship? These and related issues need to be addressed by looking critically at their underlying assumptions and what empirical social research can offer about the actual uses and impacts of this burgeoning network of networks.