Transformations in Human Communication
The age of digital media has given rise to a new social world. It is a world in which the transmission of information from the few to the many is steadily being supplanted by the multi-directional flow of facts, lies, and ideas. It is a world in which hundreds of millions of people are voluntarily depositing large amounts of personal details in publicly accessible databases. It is a world in which interpersonal relationships are increasingly being conducted in the virtual sphere. Above all, this is a world that seems to be veering off in unpredictable ways from the trends of the immediate past. This book is a probing examination of that world, and of the changes that it has ushered into our lives.
In more than thirty essays by a wide range of scholars, this must-have second edition examines the impact of digital media in six areas – information, persuasion, community, gender and sexuality, surveillance and privacy, and cross-cultural communication – and offers an invaluable guide for students and scholars alike. With one exception, all essays are completely new or revised for this volume.
Chapter 33: No Fats, No Femmes, No Privacy? (Yoel Roth)
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No Fats, No Femmes, No Privacy?
Normatively speaking, many networked platforms are uncharted territory. For the early users of a new social networking service, it’s often unclear what the boundaries of appropriate behavior within a particular context actually are. Explicitly and implicitly, users are frequently put in the position of negotiating complex and broad behavioral questions: How are you expected to treat other people within the context of a given platform? What uses of a service’s features are considered impolite? How should conflicts between users be resolved? These questions are often left unanswered by a service’s developers, and are instead left to users to adjudicate for themselves. In a space of unknown or uncertain norms of conduct, it’s often unclear how users should establish the ground rules for interacting with each other.