Moral Panics over the Internet

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Moral Panics Over the Internet Bill Dutton Oxford Internet Institute (OII) University of Oxford www.ox.ac.uk Presentation to Google EU, Chaussee d'Etterbeek 180, 1040 Brussels, Belgium. This is based on research supported by the Oxford Internet Survey, eHarmony, and the EC’s Socio-Economic Services for European Research Projects (SESERV).

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Presentation to Google EU, Chaussee d'Etterbeek 180, 1040 Brussels, Belgium, 11 April 2011, based on research supported by the Oxford Internet Survey, eHarmony, and the EC’s Socio-Economic Services for European Research Projects (SESERV).

Transcript of Moral Panics over the Internet

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Moral Panics Over the Internet

Bill Dutton

Oxford Internet Institute (OII) University of Oxford

www.ox.ac.uk

Presentation to Google EU, Chaussee d'Etterbeek 180, 1040 Brussels, Belgium. This is based on research supported by the Oxford Internet Survey, eHarmony, and the EC’s Socio-Economic Services for European Research Projects (SESERV).

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Moral Panic

• a disproportionate reaction • threat to the moral order

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Moral Panic

Questions:

• Internet replacing TV?• Overreaction?• Why?• So what? What impact?

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• 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011• Cross-sectional Surveys versus Panels• Multi-Stage Probability Sample • England, Scotland & Wales

• Respondents: 14 years and older

• Face-to-face Interviews, High Response Rates

• Sponsorship: Nominet Trust, British Library, Ofcom, and ITV.com

• Component of World Internet Project (WIP)

Oxford Internet Surveys

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The Social Order

• Isolating Individuals?

• Substituting Virtual for Real Friendship?

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Online Contacts: Meeting New People Online (QC12)

Current users. OxIS 2005: N=1,309; OxIS 2007: N=1,578; OxIS 2009: N=1,401Note. The question changed in 2009.

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Source: Hogan, B., Li, N., Dutton, W.H. (2011), ‘A Global Shift in the Social Relationships of Networked Individuals’ at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1763884

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Source: Hogan, B., Li, N., Dutton, W.H. (2011), ‘A Global Shift in the Social Relationships of Networked Individuals’ at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1763884

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The Information Order

• Diminishing the Quality of Information?

• My Daily Me – Personal Echo Chamber?

• Globalization Undermining Local Community?

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Information Seeking Online (QC22)

Current users. OxIS 2005: N=1,309; OxIS 2007: N=1,578; OxIS 2009: N=1,401

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Looking for Information on Different Media (QA1)

OxIS 2009: N=2,013

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Looking for Information on Different Media (QA1)

OxIS 2005: N=2,185; OxIS 2007: N=2,350; OxIS 2009: N=2,013. 14

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Looking for Information on Different Media (QA1)

OxIS 2005: N=2,185; OxIS 2007: N=2,350; OxIS 2009: N=2,013. 15

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Reliability of Information by Internet Users and Non-Users 2009 (QA4 by QH14)

OxIS 2009: N=2,013Note. The scale changed from a 10 point scale in 2007 to a 5 point scale in 2009.

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Average Importance of Media for Information by Internet Users and Non-Users (QA2 by QH14)

OxIS 2009: N=2,013 17

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Average Importance of Media for Entertainment by Internet Users and Non-Users (QA3 by QH14)

OxIS 2009: N=2,013 18

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Centrality of the Internet and Trust over Time

OxIS 2003: N=2,029; OxIS 2005: N=2,185; OxIS 2007 N=2,350. OxIS 2009: N=2,013

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Information Order:Privacy and Data Protection

• ‘Privacy is dead, get over it.’ Scott McNealy

• Social Networking Eroding Privacy?

• New Identities to Escape Embarrassing Posts

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The Information Order:Loss of Secrecy and Confidentiality

• Surveillance and Google Street View

• Location Awareness

• WikiLeaks

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Concerns over Privacy Online: 2005-09 (all Britons)

OxIS 2005: N=2,185; OxIS 2007: N=2,350; OxIS 2009: N=2,013

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Information Order:Secrecy, Confidentiality

• WikiLeaks

• Open Government, Transparency

• Social Networking

• Sousveillance

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WikiLeaks

Online Poll fielded on 4 December 2011: ‘Wikileaks: Do you think that the daily barrage of new revelations has far reaching consequences for global governance and humanity? Y/N’ ATCA: Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance

‘The first serious Infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops," Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow said in a tweet reposted by WikiLeaks to its 300,000-odd followers …’

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WikiLeaks: Ethical Choice Points

• Files Leaked by US Army Intelligence Analyst• Source Identified by a Hacker• Charges in Sweden Against Julian Assange• Accepted, Redacted, and Distributed by WikiLeaks• Accepted, Analysed, Redacted and Published by

the Press (collaborating with WikiLeaks)• Take Down Efforts (Denial of Service)• Attacks on companies that support or abandon

WikiLeaks, such as PayPal,Mastercard, Visa

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The Political Order

• Governments Losing Control: Pro-democracy …

• Traditional Institutions under Challenge

(John Moore, Getty Images)

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“[Edmund] Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more prominent far than they all. It is not a figure of speech, or witty saying; it is a literal fact – very momentous to us in these times.”

Thomas Carlyle (1831), Heroes and Hero-Worship, at www.gutenberg.org.etext/1091

The Fourth Estate

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Feudal Estates into the 21st Century

Estates Feudal Modern

Clergy Public Intellectuals

Nobility Business, Industry and Economic Elites

Commons Government

‘4th Estate’ Press Journalists and the Mass Media

Mob Mob

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Press in the 18th Century -- the ‘Fourth Estate’

Internet in the 21st -- enabling a Fifth Estate

Enabling people to network with other individuals and with information, services and technical resources in ways that support social accountability in business and industry, government, politics, and the media.

The Fourth and Fifth Estates

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Many More Panics

• Multitasking and Attention – or Holding Power

• Children and the Internet – Classroom Use

• Artificial Companions − No Companions

• Access to Extremist Ideas

• Copyright and Intellectual Piracy

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Why the Panic?

• Deterministic Perspectives – Loss of Control

• Romanticizing the Past• New Technology – Generational and Experience Divides• A New Social Order – Transformative• Popular Journalism• Wonderful Anecdotes • Lack of Systematic Empirical Research

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What Difference Does It Make?

• Undermining the Fifth Estate

• Chilling Effect on Freedom of Expression (e.g., Over-regulation)

• Undermining the Vitality of the Internet – fuelling social, economic and political development

• Reinforcing Digital Divides

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What Needs to be Done?

• Avoid Exaggerating Claims, or Trivializing Tussles: Define Serious Issues

• Limits of Disciplines – Multi-disciplinary Issues

• Analytic Skepticism: Questioning Taken for Granted Assumptions

• Empirical Research on Actual Implications

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Centrality of the Internet, Trust in Government and Attitudes toward Internet Regulation over Time

OxIS 2003: N=2,029; OxIS 2005: N=2,185; OxIS 2007 N=2,350. OxIS 2009: N=2,013

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Moral Panics Over the Internet

Bill Dutton

Oxford Internet Institute (OII) University of Oxford

www.ox.ac.uk

Presentation to Google EU, Chaussee d'Etterbeek 180, 1040 Brussels, Belgium.