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Undergraduate Lecture Series (M8): Ethical Issues on, in and of the Internet

With Professor Yorick Wilks
29 Nov 2010
With Professor Yorick Wilks
Filming venue:

Oxford Internet Institute, 1 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3JS United Kingdom

The influence of the Internet’s instant communication, information and gratification is everywhere, but its ethical implications have not yet been drawn out. Most existing ‘Internet Ethics’ resources are little more than policy guidelines designed to limit the liability of corporations and social researchers. This discussion aims to identify, articulate and deliberate about the ethical issues present in the technology and for its users:

  • What, if anything, is ethically distinctive about the Internet in both its form and content?
  • What effects do Internet communications, entertainment and data, for instance, have on social norms, individual decision-making and moral development?
  • How might we better design, build and legislate the Internet and its usage as a result of understanding its intrinsic ethical dimensions more fully?
  • Further, do the issues arising from the Internet confirm, challenge or strain currently accepted ethical categories?

This lecture seeks to sort out confusions in ethics, morality, regulation, and social organisation that have held back meaningful discussion and progress in this area.

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