The Internet may be defined as a global system of interconnected computer networks, which function through the use of the Internet protocol suite that helps it to link all the devices across the world. In the use of the internet, some ethical factors must be put taken into consideration. Ethics are moral principles which govern a group or an individual on behavior, and conduct of the activity. Hence, internet ethics are the acceptable behaviors for using the internet. Some of the ethical issues that have been identified are acceptance, sensitivity to Local and National cultures while using e-mail for communication, pretending to be another person, and avoiding bad language. Internet sources are most helpful, and this is because they offer a deeper insight into matters relating to internet communication (Bassett & Kate O’riordan 239). The paper shall, therefore, discuss the ethical factors in internet communication.
According to Shannon Vallor on, “Designing a more ethical internet,” she argues that internet ethics entails what it means to live well. The most significant question, in this case, is, what does it mean to live well using the internet? In what ways can the internet help us to live well? Or how can the internet make it difficult? Therefore, the internet is not just a simple tool that we use the way we feel like, but it is increasingly a medium by which we live our lives to a great extent. Since ethics influence our lives as individuals and the whole global community at large, we cannot just consider it as a marginal concern. Consequently, if the internet is a medium in which people live a good portion of their lives, this implies that it has the power to influence the lives of people in a major way. It is important to note that; the internet does not determine whether people will live a good life or not, but it may influence or push them into developing habits that enable them to behave appropriately.
Therefore, it is important for developers to understand that when they design communication channels, websites, applications, and user interfaces; they should not think about the immediate user desires and preferences, but what they should consider is meeting the desire and needs of the users in a way that promotes a good life. Lastly, what we should reflect upon is what it means to have a good living online, and how can we design internet tools and applications that can promote a good life in all the way that we care about to ensure that all internet users live a noble life.
In his article, “Ethical aspects of internet use,” Angel Rodiguez Luno claims that the internet use is widespread, and its distribution is most likely predestined to growth. For most of the work types, the use of internet has become indispensable, and convenient since it saves on very many expenses within the work environment. The internet is neither the only intermediate for doing well, nor is it the only intermediate for doing bad things (Luño 2). One of the benefits of the internet is that it may be used to extend good deeds to millions of people without the use of many personnel’s or large financial resources. Henceforth, through the internet, and the modest investment of money and time, a large group of people may be reached.
About the good use of the internet, it becomes evident that the issue of internet ethics is also the problem of the good use of the internet. What this means, in other words, is the training and feature essential for the moral use of the internet. Virtue and training are essential in the operation of the internet so that it can become a tool for good for those that use it (Luño 3). A study on the ethical aspects of the internet mainly should deliberate the principles for its moral use. Distinguishing between various categories of people, and the different contexts, internet should not isolate its users from other people. Neither should it prevent him or her from reading books, magazines, partaking in outdoor activities, nor from undertaking other important activities. The virtuous use of the internet simply means that it should always be used for some specific good.
There are some various factors which have to be considered when dealing with internet ethics (Johnson N.p). They include;
The internet is a place where values are measured in the widest sense. Thus, care must be taken while shaping the services, content, and it should also be acknowledged that internet is not apart from global society, but it is its primary component.
Sensitivity to Local and National Cultures
The internet belongs to all of the people, and there is no hindrance to local and national cultures. It is important to note that the internet cannot be subject to one set of values, and we have to put up with the assortment of the procedure.
While using e-Mail and Chatting
If it is to be used for communication, the internet must be used to communicate to friends and family. The internet should not be used for communication with strangers, neither should it be used to forward e-mails to unknown persons.
Pretending to be other people
Individuals must not use the internet to fool others or to pretend like someone else. It should be taught to all the fooling people, and hiding one’s identity on the internet is an enforceable crime.
Avoiding Bad Language
Rude language should never be used in chatting, e-Mails, social networking, and blogging. As internet users, we must respect the views of others, and we should not criticize people on the internet.
Bassett, Elizabeth H., and Kate O’riordan. “Ethics of Internet research: Contesting the human subjects research model.” Ethics and Information Technology 4.3 (2002): 233-247.
Johnson, Deborah G. Computer ethics. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2001.
Luño, Ángel Rodríguez. “Ethical Aspects of Internet Use.” Handbook of Moral Theology 1 (2006).