Online diaries: Reflections on trust, privacy, and exhibitionism [Book Review]

Ethics and Information Technology 10 (1):57-69 (2008)
Abstract
Trust between transaction partners in cyberspace has come to be considered a distinct possibility. In this article the focus is on the conditions for its creation by way of assuming, not inferring trust. After a survey of its development over the years (in the writings of authors like Luhmann, Baier, Gambetta, and Pettit), this mechanism of trust is explored in a study of personal journal blogs. After a brief presentation of some technicalities of blogging and authors’ motives for writing their diaries, I try to answer the question, ‘Why do the overwhelming majority of web diarists dare to expose the intimate details of their lives to the world at large?’ It is argued that the mechanism of assuming trust is at play: authors simply assume that future visitors to their blog will be sympathetic readers, worthy of their intimacies. This assumption then may create a self-fulfilling cycle of mutual admiration. Thereupon, this phenomenon of blogging about one’s intimacies is linked to Calvert’s theory of ‘mediated voyeurism’ and Mathiesen’s notion of ‘synopticism’. It is to be interpreted as a form of ‘empowering exhibitionism’ that reaffirms subjectivity. Various types of ‘synopticon’ are distinguished, each drawing the line between public and private differently. In the most ‘radical’ synopticon blogging proceeds in total transparency and the concept of privacy is declared obsolete; the societal gaze of surveillance is proudly returned and nullified. Finally it is shown that, in practice, these conceptions of blogging are put to a severe test, while authors often have to cope with known people from ‘real life’ complaining, and with ‘trolling’ strangers.
Keywords blogs  diaries  exhibitionism  panopticism  privacy  surveillance  synopticism  trust  voyeurism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,374
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

37 ( #44,570 of 1,096,840 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #273,068 of 1,096,840 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.