The vigorous impact of the Web in time and space arises from the fact that it motivates massive creation, editing and distribution of information by Users with little knowledge. This unprecedented continuum provides novel opportunities for innovation but also puts under jeopardy its survival as a stable construct that nurtures a complex system of connections. We examine the Web as an ethics determined space by demonstrating Hayek’s theory of freedom in a three-leveled Web: technological, contextualized and economic. Our approach accounts for the co-dependence of code and values, and assumes that the Web is a self-contained system that exists in and by itself. This view of internal Web ethics directly connects the concept of freedom with issues like centralization of traffic and data control, rights on visiting log file, custom User profiles and the interplay among function, structure and morality of the Web. It is also demonstrated, in the case of Net Neutrality, that generic freedom-coercion trade-offs are incomplete in treating specific cases at work.
WSSC: “webscience.org/2010/E.4.3 Ethics in the Web”
Keywords: Web ethics, freedom, economic Web, contextualized Web, centralization of traffic and data control.
citation: Vafopoulos, M., P. Stefaneas, I. Anagnostopoulos, and K. O’Hara. 2012. A methodology for internal Web ethics. In WWW2012, PhiloWeb 2012.