Samstag, März 10, 2007

How Ethical Is The New Web 2.0 Business Model?

By Trebor Scholz (iDC) on the P2P Foundation Blog

On the ethics of participatory culture:
"Web 2.0. is three things.
- It’s a collection of web resources where it is the participants who now directly create the value, using resources provided by privately-owned corporations.
- It’s the collection of new tools that make all of that possible. But finally,
- it is also a new business model, where the said corporations are aggregating and selling our attention.

Is it a fantastic example of voluntary creation of social wealth, or the shameless exploitation of free labour?"

In his posting he reviews 5 ethical requirements

- the utilitarian approach
Trebor: "Follow the action that does the least harm and provides the most good."

- the rights approach
Trebor: "Humans have dignity and have thus the right to be treated as ends and not as means to other ends [...]"

- the fairness approach
Trebor: "Equals should be treated as equals [...]"

- the common good approach
Trebor: "Life as being conducted as part of a group and asks us to contribute to that group."

- the virtues approach
Trebor: "The idea that ethical action has to be consistent with certain virtues such as honesty, courage, compassion, tolerance, love, integrity, fidelity, fairness, self-control [...]"


Is this an "old" approach on an even much older culture? Or can it help us to gain a new ethical base for a participatory culture without boundary and without real life means of social-normative controls?