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Produsing Theory in a Digital World 2.0

The Intersection of Audiences and Production in Contemporary Theory – Volume 2

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Rebecca Ann Lind

Continuing the explorations begun in the first Produsing Theory volume, this book provides a site at which varied theories – some still emerging – can intersect and shine a light into the spaces between what previously had been neatly separated and discrete components of media systems. In some settings, division by audience, content, and production settings remains useful, but this volume, like the first, is all about the interstices.
Contributors reflect varied perspectives in their approaches to the spaces formed as a result of rapidly developing and swiftly deploying new communications technologies and social software. They shine multiple spotlights into the intersection of audiences and production, providing a guide toward a nuanced understanding of the interstitial spaces.

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Chapter Fifteen: Produsing Ethics [for the Digital Near Future] (Annette N. Markham)

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 C H A P T E R F I F T E E N  Produsing Ethics [for the Digital Near Future] Annette N. Markham t the close of 2014, ethics seemed heavy on the public mind. Public attention certainly swelled when Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 that the National Security Agency was collecting massive amounts of data on its citizens. Then, in midsummer 2014, the public learned Facebook had been conducting experiments on its users without their knowledge.1 Concerns about hidden behavioral research and oversight only contributed to existing distress about data privacy. Shortly thereafter, a clash among game developers exploded into rampant denigration of and physical threats toward female game developers through social media. What was called “Gamergate” added a different set of ethics issues to the conversation—the ethics of hate speech and harassment. Although the misogynistic harassment of all feminists everywhere abated somewhat by the start of 2015, the controversy continues. How do we respond to such situations, as individuals, scholars, design- ers, and policy makers? If ethics are a matter of perspective, does it matter how we respond? One might generally answer this question by saying, “Of course, it matters!” But even if one feels strongly that things seem to be heading in the wrong direction, can one change the course of history in the making, given the scope and scale of such situations? Of course, ethics is not a simple concept in these or other situations wherein values for various stakeholders clash. At the same...

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