Essay on Ethical and Social Issues of the Internet

Arpanet network of the late sixties, which was designed to test new computer technologies and applications, has grown to a #1 database of knowledge, entertainments and risks – the Internet. However, good intentions of informational source had drastically changed till the end of XXth century. Today, the Internet is considered to be a virtual reality for youth and primary media source for others, who had entered into a computer system. Since the popularity of a little-known network had sky-rocketed to a virtual market, Internet experts have to investigate its spheres and find out issues to consider. Good technology, as it meant to be, has already crept into social, ethical and cultural elements of societies worldwide and people must keep their guard up to avoid symbiosis of man and machine.

Help With Essay on Ethical and Social Issues of the Internet
Help With Essay on Ethical and Social Issues of the Internet

Main ethical and social issues had been defined as follows: privacy, accuracy, property and access (PAPA). The law of the Internet is that commercial traffic is not for profit. Nevertheless, sniffing, third party interventions, passwords’ catch, e-mail threats (exposure of customer’s profiles) turn private data to public ones. Hackers, who affect accuracy of critical data that may cost thousands of dollars; faults in private financial and medical records that may harm innocent people, are the examples of inaccurate data provided. Patents and copyrights that protect intellectual property of human’s knowledge are neglected by hackers, whose creed is all information is free and belongs to everyone. Easy access to data, which cost exertion and time to an author, amounts billions of dollars’ losses.

Value-laden problems in computer systems may arise from the development that sets fast paces and data expansion regardless of ethical and social inconsistencies. On the other hand, “computer technology is biased if it systematically and unfairly discriminates against certain individuals or groups of individuals in favor of others” (Friedman, 1996). Preexisting, technical and emergent biases place boundaries between males and females, educated and under educated, cultural values and public knowledge. Freedom from bias in computer systems should wipe off limits and increase the number of potential users.

Computer technology and the Internet were designed as a well educated and sophisticated network. So it is today; but, their media missions have proved to be not only educational. While the amount of educational data was limited by fees, the same amount of entertainment was advertised and offered for free. Little by little, students have used to associate the Internet as form of entertainment only. For businesses, the Internet is the best, cheapest and fastest way to promote new products and services. Banners and press releases, forums and carts, variety of virtual auctions have paved the way for the easiest method to make a fortune.

Primary outcome for education lies in faster and better way to gain knowledge – improve efficiency in learning and quality of work done. Secondary and tertiary ones are spare time for entertainment and leisure (easier to make bad choices, while being in virtual reality) and social degradation (symbiosis of man and computer system lead to unqualified workers in other spheres and general recession). Entertainment outcomes include: worldwide propagation, massive passion and subconscious common enslavement. Business outcomes consist of: international promotion, trade pitfalls and trade crash because of automated system’s failure.

Systems rationalists view good technologies from the perspective of its positive role in society. Good computer system lays stresses upon small groups, their satisfaction and motivation; unifies organizations and helps to avoid instability in the future. It is considered to be the most efficient and productive aspect of organization. For segmented institutionalists, good technologies are under suspicion of social problems and hazards of automated world. They see organization as a political structure that has influence upon computers’ implementation and selection of technologies, where neither small groups nor individuals affect the final decision, but rather managers, who want to increase their power.

Works cited:

Friedman, Batya, Brok Erik, Roth, Susan King, and Thomas, John. “Minimizing Bias in Computer Systems”. SigCHI Bulletin Vol.28, No.1, January, 1996.

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