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The prediction, in brief:
The most important policy issue is how to balance people's rights and responsibilities in electronic gatherings. Every group creates and sustains a shared understanding of the rights and responsibilities of membership - a social contract ... Because electronic groups are both diverse and ephemeral, attempts to directly apply codes of conduct from the real world often go awry. Social influence is played out in a world that is rich in imagination and diversity and impoverished in its means of communication - ascii text ... Electronic groups currently have few ways to deal with blatant misbehavior ... It is much easier to suggest tools for groups than it is to suggest policies for how to balanc

Predictor: Sproull, Lee; Faraj, Samer

Prediction, in context:
The 1995 book "Public Access to the Internet," edited by Brian Kahin and James Keller carries the chapter, "Atheism, Sex, and Databases: The Net as a Social Technology" by Lee Sproull and Samer Faraj. Sproull was a professor of management at Boston University and has done research on electronic groups that was sponsored by the Markle Foundation. Faraj was a doctoral student in MIS at Boston University. They write: "The most important policy issue is how to balance people's rights and responsibilities in electronic gatherings. Every group creates and sustains a shared understanding of the rights and responsibilities of membership - a social contract ... Social contracts in the electronic world are extremely problematic. Because electronic groups are both diverse and ephemeral, attempts to directly apply codes of conduct from the real world often go awry. Social influence is played out in a world that is rich in imagination and diversity and impoverished in its means of communication - ascii text ... Electronic groups currently have few ways to deal with blatant misbehavior. Sometimes people use a tool to filter out other people's messages that they deem obnoxious. Filters exemplify the consequences of thinking about people on the net as individual information processors - in this case, individuals who want to ignore messages with particular attributes ... It is much easier to suggest tools for groups than it is to suggest policies for how to balance people's rights and responsibilities. We need much more discussion within groups themselves as well as in the broader policy community about group governance. We also need research that documents implicit codes of behavior and social-influence mechanisms across a wide variety of group types."

Biography:




Date of prediction: 1/1/1995

Topic of prediction: Community/Culture

Subtopic: Ethics/Values

Name of publication: Public Access to the Internet (book)

Title, headline, chapter name: Atheism, Sex, and Databases: The Net as a Social Technology

Quote Type: Direct quote

Page number or URL of document at time of study: Pages 77, 78

This data was logged into the Elon/Pew Predictions Database by: Guarino, Jennifer Anne
A project of the Elon University School of Communications and the Pew Internet and American Life Project
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