reading response 9: CybeRape

Julian Dibbell speaks to us about how the online realm shouldn't be law-free. In the case mentioned in our class discussion over the NYU student for example, it is clear (at least to me) that it was full-blown harrassment. True it may have started on the online realm, but once the problem reaches through your internet into the "real" world things start to get messy.

I believe that there should be laws governing the internet. Not directly. I am completely against having internet police patrolling the internet watching what every person is doing. That would be against the will of so many users of this supposedly free enviroment. However, we, AS PEOPLE, shouldn't have the right to act immature, innappropriate, or otherwise JUST because we are on the internet. We are basically abusing the fact that we have no faces on the internet. That we are all technically anonymous.

This abuse over anonymity needs to stop. Consequences we face in real life should be applied if done over the internet as well.

A prime example would be internet-based fraud. There are more than one forms and I want to use one that has no relations at all to the world outside of the internet. So I will be using online multi-player video games as an example. These are a prime example because of the number of people who play these video games purely to make money. They do this one of two ways. First is by farming the currency of the online game and then selling it for real money. Since this involves real money, I will leave this out. The second is similar, except they trade one form of online currency for another (for people who play more than one online video game). This causes problems such as scams or fraud. This should be treated as fraud in real life and scammers should be prosecuted accordingly. The only problem about this idea is that the online video games do not allow the trading or selling of their currency so technically you would be in trouble as well.

Anyhow, I believe that there is space for rules to develop over the internet as did for the telephone. First people may have thought the telephone was free of any harm, but death threats, constant calling fron a random number etc are now all considered forms of harrassment. I dont think the internet will last long without having some rules to govern over it.