Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Scott and Brian expansion/rebuttal.

Originally I was going to pass on this topic- but Scott and Brian have motivated me to pursue it further.

Intimacy on the Internet- regardless of perceived origin on the Internet- is a real concern today. On Scott's Post, Brian pointed out the concern of online predators once physical contact is made.

What about when the Internet, the content of the messages sent to each other, are the predator? How does one stay vigilant against the web itself, and the people who participate in it?

For your consideration:

Wired Article 1

Blogger news Network




All of these articles center around Death related to some form of Internet community and perceived rejection from that community. As Scott said, people have a desire for interaction; so what about the people who only find interaction in Digital Environments?

Aside from the Myspace incident where a person maliciously drove an emotionally damaged person to suicide, who are the real perpetrators of the crime here? Can Blizzard Entertainment, creators of World of Warcraft be held responsible?

I suggest no.

We live in a world where instead of people committing atrocities through 'Heaven's gate' -like fanatical groups, they can conveniently stay in their home and form Internet Suicide Pacts.

I don't mean to just focus on the death aspect of the Internet's influence on communication, but I feel it conveys the point well.

Scott's assessment that only through a final face to face interaction can these 'relationships' receive validation is just not consummate with the data presented. I would concede that in MANY cases, Scott's evaluation would hold true- but the Internet is such an expansive community that even fractions of a single percentage hold significant numbers of people.

I think a bigger question is where do the obligation of caregivers stop? A teacher in a public school, if they hear that a student may be being abused, or threatened, or any number of other things, has a legal obligation to report that to the administration so that the student may receive attention to ensure they are not in danger.

What are the responsibilities of that teacher to check on students lives digitally? does a conversation had in a computer lab during school hours fall under the teacher's duty to insure the welfare of the student?

what if the conversation is between a student and a non-student, and the non-student is the one in danger?

with the ability to connect so many people instantly, and fairly free of restriction, where does the responsibility of the individual stop?


Lance Strate said...

Your raise some very important questions. Certainly, any kind of virtual reality requires us to think in turn about virtual morality.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Are we not already training existing and soon to come generations how to become a digital predator?

I would like to take two popular social networking sites (Facebook & MySpace), and show that my claim has some validity.

The ways the sites are designed are for the users to voluntarily post all sorts of attractive information about themselves, from text to pictures. Some people post 6,112 pictures of themselves and their friends involved in sometimes striking situations and others only post a bare minimal. Regardless, images of real human behavior laced with textual information will amount to an imaginative train-of-thought; whether it is conducted on a controlled track or not.

Before the computer or camera, humans, us, we have always been attracted to the configurations of other human beings, if only to learn and understand that ‘we’ are not the only ones experiencing the world. Human nature. I mean, look how our society handles our celebrities. Stalking and Selling.

Anyways, we have instinctual predatory habits, deep within us or seeping through our conscious. It is what has kept the human race still running the marathon. And if you look at the younger generation, younger than the early 20’s, the vast majority of them are only embracing an open society of stocking one another. This goes far beyond child molesters and undercover police.

Our society stalks for whatever the reason may be. It’s almost quite natural. Cameras Everywhere, Fast-Passes for Highways, Credit Cards, Social Security, G.P.S., National I.D. Cards, Google, the Pentagon, the Patriot Act….hahahaha: just a million-and-a-half things left to list that are predatory at hand.

People will and are seeking intimacy on the Internet. People who have a great deal of physical intimacy outside the electrical current, and people who experience no such physical pleasure are experimenting with the digital dating. Except, the digital date resembles no law or rule that holds true in the physical world.

Digital dating… only one party has to be present. Preying catalogs of another person’s videos, pictures, and commentary makes for enough intimacy for a weak mind. (Are these technologies conditioning weaker minds, I thought)…

But again, this kind of preying is happening on a level far beyond sexual predators. Many Commercial, Private, and Federal forces are conducting the same type of preying for reasons they believe are for a justified cause. One might say, ‘it’s a lot worse when sexual predators seek out weak minds for to accompany their own,’ but if that is going on, take a look at the technological ramifications our society is undergoing and all of a sudden, it isn’t so unimaginable why there are people out there who do such things, and why children succumb their innocence.