Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Rape in Cyberspace

Here's a link to the Julian Dibbell article.

Turns out Julian is a he.


Dale said...

Much less shocking and dramatic (and not as well written), but a good counterpoint nonetheless:

Nothing new, but after reading Dibbell it's nice to have some reassurance that positive social contact is the norm for online space.

These two articles also present a new aspect to our discussion a few weeks ago of the internet as a politically democratizing space. While it might not erase hierarchies, the incident Dibbell describes did him make him reconsider real crime and free speech laws. While I lament his acknowledgment that it took a cyber-rape to make him consider the psychological brutality of that particular crime, it is interesting to think that the teenagers interviewed by the New York Times will be reaching voting age not simply familiar with the online experience but with a new perspective on rights and regulations, seen through the lens of an integrated virtual and physical reality.

Jim said...

Dale - You might be interested in checking out Mimi Ito's other ethnographic work at

The funding for the white paper mentioned in the article is part of a series of MacArthur Foundation grants tied to technology and informal learning. It might also be interesting to look at the overall list of the media related projects they funded recently to see where they put their stake in the ground in terms of the broader media landscape.