Internet: middle of communication ethically incompatible? Or not?

Gonçalo Jorge Morais of Costa


The goal of the presented paper is the attempt to explain if the Internet will be a middle of human communication ethically incompatible or not? The analysis in cause will be elaborated in way to answer to the presented subject in a total way.

The evolution of the means of human communication is a clear and unequivocal reality… The preferential mean of human communication in the knowledge society is without a doubt the Internet, fruit of increasingly user’s growth. In fact, the fast development of the information technologies allowed: the dilution of geographical spaces, the appearance of new social and economical contexts, and for that, new complexity forms, contradictions and paradoxes appear daily.

One of those paradoxes is clearly the aim of this paper… It is to know to what extent the Internet is a middle of human communication ethically incompatible or no…

The sharp cultural mutations underlying human beings that happen on in this millennium request a total analysis of subjects related to the communicational ethics. We no longer lived to the reach just the radio, the television, the newspaper, the publicity, the movies and the video. The era of the information flows reconfigure the mediatic field. In the cyberspace, each one is potentially originator and receiver in a differentiated qualitatively space, no-fixed and disposed by the users. Under such prism, the Internet is a universal cradle of information, clearly differentiated of the mediatic macro-systems for the following requirements:

  1. at least until the present, no there are directive center’s nor decision commands in the Internet;
  2. the Internet communication is founded in a reciprocity with community dimension (the telephone is reciprocal, but individual; it doesn’t allow a vision than what happens in the net). The television and radio are poles from where the information leaves and it is distributed. Even taken in consideration blunting interactive solutions, a clear separation exists between the issuing nuclei and the addressees isolated some of the other ones. In the Internet, there is the substantive possibility of receivers participate, including in non territorialized collectivities;
  3. the interactive and multipolar character of the virtual communication breaks up with limits demarcated by hegemonic institutions. Texts, sounds and images circulate in great amount for the Internet, without the obligation of if they submit to evaluation filters and whose ethical consequences are not quantified properly;
  4. beside that, in the Internet doesn’t exist programming grills or pre-established roots, while the television, the radio and the newspapers select their news in function of their own directives, the computerized nets impel us to go behind the dispersed information for the hemispheres, with the prerogative to define what we independently consider as ethical or not.

The cyberspace is configured as one universal uncertain, without controls and apparent hierarchies, without place nor time clearly marked, and for that, in any part of the world when any one of us clicks in the mouse, opening for that middle a browser is “buying a ticket for the unknown”… Unknown means the possible contact with different perspectives of life, in terms of the social-historical-economical context, and even in ideological and religious terms. It means, that we can be involved in a behavioural paradigm that embraces the realities that we are going to contact, as well as, fruit of that uncertain universe, without controls and hierarchies we cannot be prepared in mental terms essentially for the cognitive dissonance (“sociological shock”) resultant.

The sociological shock creates then a world problem in ethics terms and regulation of the Internet. It is known that the establishment of laws and rules for the communication in the Internet are in study by countless government entities of several countries as for instance: in the U.S.A., in China, in Japan, in Singapore, etc. However, other question rises in the horizon: how can we control and regulate these information limitations, and what type of government or non governmental organizations will have legitimacy for doing it? The answer to this question is not still very clear, but on the contrary, the government positions as for instance the one of France or Japan demonstrate the concern of the underlying countries to the problem.

However, the constitution of barriers to those accesses is not a contradiction to the basic beginnings what governs the Internet? Beginnings those that seat in the freedom of fluency of the information, because today Internet is fruit of spaces or contradictory interests and hesitates between a gigantic space of individual statement and collective communication, as referred previously.

In conclusion, the Internet neither is good nor it is bad. Just the use that will be done of her will drive us to judge her.


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