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Morality and the Web. Jeroen van den Hoven Professor Ethics and Technology Delft University of Technology Scientific Director 3TU.Ethics The Hague. The Web is an Epistemic Success. Criteria for success of an epistemic practice (Goldman, Thagard, e.a.) Speed

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morality and the web

Morality and the Web

Jeroen van den Hoven

Professor Ethics and Technology

Delft University of Technology

Scientific Director

3TU.Ethics The Hague

the web is an epistemic success
The Web is an Epistemic Success
  • Criteria for success of an epistemic practice

(Goldman, Thagard, e.a.)

  • Speed
    • How quick do you get an answer to your question
  • Power
    • The capability of an epistemic practice to get you answers at all
  • Economy
    • The cost of getting an answer
  • Fecundity
    • The number of people the practice can involve and reach at one time
  • Reliability
    • The ratio of true beliefs to the total number of beliefs acquired re the topic of a question
slide3
Web
  • Connectivity
  • Communication
  • Interaction
  • Coordination
  • Transaction
slide4
ICT
  • Information
  • Ubiquitous
  • Pervasive
  • Ambient
  • Constitutive
  • Confusing
  • Value laden
ict constitutive technology
ICT Constitutive Technology
  • Not merely Enabling
  • Constitutive
  • ICT Shapes practices, discourses, institutions
confused
Confused

Democracy

Trust

Privacy

Property

Community

Person

Intelligence

Life

Democracy

Work

Health

Friendship

it more confused
IT: more confused

Electronic DemocracyE- TrustInformational PrivacyIntellectual PropertyCyber CommunityDigital PersonArtificial IntelligenceArtificial LifeDigital DemocracyTele WorkE- HealthNet Friendship

conceptual vacuum
Conceptual Vacuum

“New Sort of Community”

“New Sort of Privacy”

“New sort of Trust”

“New sort of Friendship”

Conceptual Vacuum - Policy Vacuum & Design Vacuum

the formula that killed wallstreet
The Formula that Killed Wallstreet
  • David X. Li's Gaussian copula function as first published in 2000. Investors exploited it as a quick—and fatally flawed—way to assess risk.
  • Gamma
  • The all-powerful correlation parameter, which reduces correlation to a single constant..
values built into systems
Values Built into Systems
  • Interfaces
  • Infrastructures
  • Algorithms
  • Ontologies
  • Code
  • Protocols
  • Integrity constraints
  • Architectures
  • Identity Management Systems
  • Authorization Matrix
  • Procedures
  • Regulations
  • Incentive structures
  • Auction mechanisms
  • Voting mechanism
  • Monitoring and inspection
  • Governance arrangements
value sensitive design ethics and technology
Value Sensitive DesignETHICS AND TECHNOLOGY

Express

Implement

Responsibility

Privacy

Accountability

Agency

Autonomy

sustainability

Computers

Oiltankers

Airplanes

Reactors

Roads

Internet

Electricity Grids

Hospitals

Values

Norms

Laws

Ideals

Code

Architectures

infrastructures

Information Systems

Ontologies

Standards

artifacts

Evaluate,Justify

Audit

the web is also a bit of a moral success
The Web is also a bit of a Moral Success
  • Emancipates
  • Empowers
  • Equalizes
  • Enhances Accountability
  • ………..
some moral problems
Some Moral Problems
  • Cyberbullying
  • Trolls
  • Happy slapping
  • Anorexia glorification
  • Cybersuicide (pacts)
  • Violent computer games
  • Child Pornograph and Pedophilia
exculpiating redescriptions
Exculpiating redescriptions
  • Why did you do it?
  • It was just…..no more than
  • It was virtual…; it all seemed a bit unreal
  • Because I could…
  • It was private…
  • It’s all new
  • Everyone does it, no one told me it was wrong
  • I don’t know
  • I didn’t realize it caused so much grief
  • I got further and further into it
  • I became addicted
the web and moral fog
The Web and Moral Fog
  • Added to the conceptual confusion common to new IT (“is this a friend?” Is this “a community”?)
  • Moral Fog is created by the morally relevant features of the Web jointly
  • EVIL ONLINE, Dean Cocking & Jeroen van den Hoven, Wiley Blackwell, 2011
morally relevant features of the web
Morally relevant features of the Web
  • Cascades (availability, information, reputation)
  • Daily me, informational/moral homogeneity
  • Physical Isolation
  • Domestication of Wrongdoing
  • Anomimity; feeling of anonymity, hiding in the crowd
  • Virtuality
  • Blurred public private boundaries and blurred boundaries of social spheres; unclear jurisdiction
  • Interpretative flexibility; problem of relevant descriptions
  • Voluntariness of self-presentation; involuntariness in off-line emotional responses and reactive attitudes is morally significant; reliable signals of moral motivation
moral fog
Moral Fog
  • Banality of Moral Wrongdoing
  • Wrongdoing is close, common
  • Wrongdoers exploit ambiguity;
  • Problem of relevant description
situationism in ethics
Situationism in Ethics
  • Ethical behaviour to large extent dependent on situational and contextual factors
  • Milgram
  • Zimbardo
  • Trolley-research
ethics design
Ethics & Design
  • We design Large Socio Technical Systems (e.g. SNS)
  • We make moral mistakes in design; e.g. financial world, safety culture in oil industry.
  • Ethics is in an important sense situational
  • Moral development, education, guidance and character formation massively situated in Social Media Environments
  • We have to (think about) design for moral development and flourishing on the Web