Social networking technologies open a type that is new of area by which individual identities and communities, both ‘real’ and digital, are built, presented, negotiated, handled and done. Consequently, philosophers have actually analyzed SNS both in terms of the uses as Foucaultian “technologies associated with self” (Bakardjieva and Gaden 2012) that facilitate the construction and gratification of individual identification, plus in regards to the distinctive forms of public norms and ethical practices produced by SNS (Parsell 2008).
The ethical and metaphysical problems created by the forming of digital identities and communities have actually attracted much interest that is philosophical
(see Introna 2011 and Rodogno 2012). Yet since noted by Patrick Stokes (2012), unlike previous types of network for which privacy additionally the construction of alter-egos had been typical, SNS such as for instance Twitter increasingly anchor user identities and connections to real, embodied selves and offline ‘real-world’ networks. Yet SNS nevertheless enable users to control their self-presentation and their social support systems in means that offline social areas in the home, college or work usually usually do not permit. The end result, then, can be a identification grounded into the person’s material embodiment and reality but more clearly “reflective and aspirational” (Stokes 2012, 365) in its presentation. This raises lots of ethical concerns: very very first, from just what way to obtain normative guidance or value does the aspirational content of a SNS user’s identity primarily derive? Do identification shows on SNS generally speaking represent the exact same aspirations and mirror the value that is same as users’ offline identity performances? Do they show any notable distinctions from the aspirational identities of non-SNS users? Will be the values and aspirations made explicit in SNS contexts pretty much heteronomous in beginning compared to those expressed in non-SNS contexts? Perform some more identity that is explicitly aspirational on SNS encourage users to do something to really embody those aspirations offline, or do they have a tendency to damage the inspiration to take action?
An additional SNS trend of relevance this is actually the perseverance and public memorialization of Twitter pages after the user’s death; not merely does this reinvigorate an amount of traditional ethical questions regarding our ethical duties to honor and keep in mind the dead, in addition renews questions regarding whether our ethical identities can continue after our embodied identities expire, and perhaps the dead have actually ongoing interests inside their social existence or reputation (Stokes 2012).
Mitch Parsell (2008) has raised issues in regards to the unique temptations of ‘narrowcast’ social network communities which can be “composed of these exactly like your self, whatever your viewpoint, character or prejudices. ”
(41) He worries that one of the affordances of internet 2.0 tools is a propensity to tighten our identities up to a set that is closed of norms that perpetuate increased polarization, prejudice and insularity. He admits that in theory the many-to-many or one-to-many relations enabled by SNS provide for experience of a better selection of viewpoints and attitudes, however in practice Parsell worries that they frequently have actually the effect that is opposite. Building from de Laat (2006), who implies that people of digital communities accept a distinctly hyperactive form of interaction to compensate for diminished informational cues, Parsell claims that into the lack of the total selection of individual identifiers obvious through face-to-face contact, SNS could also market the deindividuation of individual identification by exaggerating and reinforcing the importance of single provided characteristics (liberal, conservative, homosexual, Catholic, etc. ) that lead us to see ourselves and our SNS associates more as representatives of an organization than as unique people (2008, 46).
Parsell additionally notes the presence of inherently pernicious identities and communities which may be enabled or improved by some online 2.0 tools—he cites the exemplory russian brides club login instance of apotemnophiliacs, or would-be amputees, who utilize such resources to generate mutually supportive systems for which their self-destructive desires get validation (2008, 48). Relevant issues were raised about “Pro-ANA” internet web internet internet sites offering mutually supportive companies for anorexics searching for information and tools so they can perpetuate and police disordered identities (Giles 2006; Manders-Huits 2010). While Parsell thinks that particular Web 2.0 affordances enable corrupt and destructive kinds of individual freedom, he claims that other internet 2.0 tools provide matching solutions; for instance, he defines Facebook’s reliance on long-lived pages associated with real-world identities as an easy way of fighting deindividuation and marketing accountable share to town (2008, 54).