A discussion in another blog reminded me that I hadn’t yet got around to HTMLifying my exploration of feminist ethics in digital communities. I’ve put it up here.
I’m particularly interested to hear responses to these questions:
In a blog comment community, who has the right to participate in the production and enforcement of norms, and how are those rights allocated? Should the blogger, who has the power to pull the plug, have the ultimate right over their “own” space, including a comment community? Under a traditional ethical system, she would retain this absolute right, and that right would prevail, in a conflict, over commenters’ rights to be heard and to participate in community norms. From a feminist ethics viewpoint, the situation is less clear-cut. Rather than focussing on bloggers’ rights, the feminist ethicist looks at the responsibilities of bloggers and commenters. To what extent do (or should) bloggers feel a responsibility to care for their comment community as a shared social space, to encourage connections, to facilitate a more democratic production of social norms? What value does a blog hold without its readers, commenters and linkers?
And going back a step, do you feel a sense of community in digital spaces? Which ones and why? How would you evaluate whether participants feel a sense of community?