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The moral framework of cyberspace

Bernd Remmele (Institute for Computer Science and Social Studies, Freiberg, Germany)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 31 August 2004

Abstract

Morality, resp. moral communication, undergoes substantial changes when it is computer‐mediated, i.e. cyberspace provides a different moral infrastructure. Firstly, there are different conditions regarding the transaction costs that frame the relation between moral motivation and the expectation of the success of a moral act. Secondly, there is the transformation of ownership and property, which are the basic content of moral actions and communications. The personal accountability of one’s and somebody else’s own (property) is altered; a special ethic of virtual ownership is developing, which finds its expression in the manifold production of public goods in virtual networks. This development is reflected in the dialectics of digital commons and anti‐commons. Thirdly, there is the ludic structure of cyberspace. The medial conditions of cyberspace are analogous to the basic principles of play. Playing as a self‐motivated action is a reason for moral behaviour in cyberspace, especially for the production of public goods.

Keywords

Citation

Remmele, B. (2004), "The moral framework of cyberspace", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 125-131. https://doi.org/10.1108/14779960480000247

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited