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Facebook Has It: The Irresistible Violence of Social Cognition in the Age of Social Networking

Facebook Has It: The Irresistible Violence of Social Cognition in the Age of Social Networking
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Author(s): Tommaso Bertolotti (University of Pavia, Italy)
Copyright: 2011
Volume: 2
Issue: 4
Pages: 13
Source title: International Journal of Technoethics (IJT)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Rocci Luppicini (University of Ottawa, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/jte.2011100105

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Abstract

Over the past years, mass media increasingly identified many aspects of social networking with those of established social practices such as gossip. This produced two main outcomes: on the one hand, social networks users were described as gossipers mainly aiming at invading their friends’ and acquaintances’ privacy; on the other hand the potentially violent consequences of social networking were legitimated by referring to a series of recent studies stressing the importance of gossip for the social evolution of human beings. This paper explores the differences between the two kinds of gossip-related sociability, the traditional one and the technologically structured one (where the social framework coincides with the technological one, as in social networking websites). The aim of this reflection is to add to the critical knowledge available today about the effects that transparent technologies have on everyday life, especially as far as the social implications are concerned, in order to prevent (or contrast) those “ignorance bubbles” whose outcomes can be already dramatic.

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