4Ethics and Social Networking

4.1. Preamble

The title of this chapter is Ethics and Social Networking. It refers to a global environment and processes that enables multiple people or groups of people to interact, brainstorm and share information or ideas to achieve common goals. More specifically, social networking, as a communication platform, enables the development of new ways of working together; among them, we can quote: collaboration, cooperation, participation or crowdsourcing, etc.

For a better understanding, we will recall that for many people, social networking is an individual-centric communication system, and means of socializing for personal, professional or entertainment purposes.

In this chapter, we will focus on social collaboration, which is entirely group-centric, co-working oriented (people are working together, consensually, and responsibility is global and collective). In contrast, Crowdsourcing is considered as a method for harnessing specific information from a large, diverse group of people, involving a lot of communication and cooperation among a large group of people (here, individuals are working towards the common goal relatively independently).

Here, cooperation refers to people that are operating together on a common project (tasks are shared among the partners, in an organized and negotiated way, according to given skills and availabilities). Finally, participation is a consequence of the implementation of a working concept initiated in the 1970s ...

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