Cyber Ethic - Term Paper

The flamer may gain some momentary pleasure from the flame, admittedly, and may experience relief from the anger or frustration that has plagued him.However, the rest of the discussion - not simply the target of the flame, but onlookers and other participants - will suffer because they have been treated with scorn and without a significant basis for disagreement.

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Thus, the act of flaming, although born from emotions that are at times very understandable, cannot be considered to be an ethical action.

Thus, this action should also be avoided wherever possible.

Of course, bullying is not a problem unique to a networked environment. In both cases it is possible for those that are tempted to bully another to again apply Kant's ethics to the problem of avoidance.

Specifically, one may ask what would happen if the actions we were about to take were a universal law; Kant states that most likely "we will find that we do not really will that our maxim should be a universal law (Kant, quoted in Wood 139)." That is, simply thinking about how the world would be if everyone engaged in bullying - cyber or otherwise - can yield an answer as to whether we should continue.

Instead, the existing views of a given audience are likely to be reinforced through this mechanism.

This results in a lack of true deliberation, as the majorities of replies to a given message are either flames or are agreement with the existing post (possibly as a means of avoiding conflict) (Wright and Street 852).

In order to avoid engaging in unethical actions in networked contexts, it is simply possible to ask yourself - would I do this in "real life"?

One of the clearest, and the most damaging, violations of ethics that may occur in a networked context is that of cyber bullying. "Online bullying, called cyber bullying, happens when teens use the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person (National Crime Prevention Council)." According to the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), at least half of American teenagers have experienced cyber bullying.

This ubiquity has opened up new horizons in availability of information and has increased access to a number of resources.

People today have broader access to information than ever before.


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