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Ethics for a Digital Age, Vol. II

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Edited By Bastiaan Vanacker and Don Heider

The second volume of Ethics for a Digital Age contains a selection of research presented at the fifth and sixth Annual International Symposia on Digital Ethics hosted by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication. Thematically organized around the most pressing ethical issues of the digital age from a professional (parts one and two) and a philosophical perspective (part three), the chapters of this volume offer the reader a window into some of the hot-button ethical issues facing a society where digital has become the new normal. Just as was the case in the first volume, this collection attempts to bridge applied and theoretical approaches to digital ethics. The case studies in this work are grounded in theory and the theoretical pieces are linked back to specific cases, reflecting the multi-methodological and multi-disciplinarian approach espoused by Loyola’s Center of Digital Ethics and Policy during its eight years of existence. With contributions by experts from a variety of academic disciplines, this work will appeal to philosophers, communication scientists, and moral philosophers alike.

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Concluding Remarks: Digital Ethics: Where to Go from Here? (Bastiaan Vanacker)

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Concluding Remarks: Digital Ethics: Where to Go from Here?

BASTIAAN VANACKER

Having been involved for seven years with the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago, I have seen a gradual shift in the topics that occupy the debate in digital ethics (DE). For example, questions of piracy and copyright infringement seem less prevalent now, perhaps because with the advent of streaming services, instances of infringement have subsided somewhat. Or because the ethical debate on this topic has been exhausted or solved. Ethical issues regarding violent and/or pornographic content, digital manipulation of images and professional uses of social media also seem to have lost some of their urgency. As technologies are being integrated in our personal and professional lives, a set of practices has emerged that dictates the limits of acceptable uses.

For example, those who are pushing content to users that contains graphic or sexually explicit imagery without some kind of warning (such as NSFW) will receive blowback. They might create a hostile work environment if they do this at work, violate acceptable use policies of the platform they are using, or face angry e-mails, tweets, or comments from their peers. Slowly, we are figuring things out. Most parents now know to show some restraint when posting images of someone else’s children. News organizations are figuring out how to use Twitter as a source while avoiding some of the pitfalls that relying on social...

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