Home > Misc > 2010-03-30 We Are The Network: Does Global Social Communication Cause Bad Behavior or Reveal It?

2010-03-30 We Are The Network: Does Global Social Communication Cause Bad Behavior or Reveal It?

March 28th, 2010

Does Global Social Communication Cause Bad Behavior or Reveal It?

Please join our global discussion group
every Tuesday at 12PM noon U.S. Pacific / SL time

This Tuesday, Mar 30, at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life

This Week’s Topic

Does Global Social Communication Cause Bad Behavior or Reveal It?

This week’s news of serious threats against politicians, after passage of the U.S. health care bill, got me wondering “Are the Internet, the media and video games the causes of increased bad behavior, has bad behavior actually increased, or has global instant communication revealed the reality of the human condition more clearly, in a way we were not expecting?”

Many articles (and people) proclaim that the Internet, the media and video games are the primary causes of increased bad behavior. It is easy to rationalize increased bad behavior based on exposure to the environmental messages from the Internet, media and games, however might not be the case. However, it wouldn’t be the first time that a seemingly obvious conclusion does not explain the nature of human behavior.

What is bad behavior, in the context of global social communication? Is it taught and learned? Is it different, and if so, how is it different than bad behavior in face to face and non-online settings? Do parts of our social belief systems encourage or support the on-going existence of bad behavior “by design”? Is it important to us for bad behavior to be present (just throwing out a random hypothesis here…)? Is there value in bad behavior, or can we extract value from it? Has bad behavior increased, or are we just now able to see the scope of it more clearly? What are the causes, can we determine them, and what, if anything can be done about it?

This week we’ll discuss the nature of “bad behavior” in this context, both to better understand what it is, explore the causes, and see what may lie ahead of us as global social communication continues to develop.

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon SL for an interactive discussion, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

Best regards,


Reading links below – have fun and see you soon!

Bad Behavior in the Blogosphere: Vitriolic comments aimed at tech writer make some worry about downside of anonymity

Decreasing Online Bad Behavior, Social Computing Group, Microsoft Research

Handling Bad Behavior on the Internet

Bad Behavior Linked to Gene, BBC News

How Children Learn Bad Behavior

Game Sparks Bad Behavior Online, Wired Magazine

A Neural Basis for Sociopathy, ArchGenPsychiatry.com, Antonio R. Damasio, MD, Dept of Neurology, Univ of Iowa College of Medicine

The Sociopath Next Door, Martha Stout, Ph.D.
http://www.amazon.com/Sociopath-Next-Door-Martha-Stout/dp/076791581X (a review http://www.amazon.com/review/R3RRVBOA8A0X6S)

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Joel Foner (Second Life: Joel Savard)


  1. March 29th, 2010 at 19:52 | #1

    That’s an interesting question on causality. Does Facebook enable or incite bad behavior? Another interesting question, perhaps for your SL talk, is what can we do in our own social networks to keep them from going down this same ( see http://www.dynamicalsoftware.com/facebook/social/intelligence ) path?

  2. Nicholas Truske
    April 1st, 2010 at 09:59 | #2

    Yes this is interesting – where does the causality start ? I was just now imagining being a citizen under the rule of the German or Russian governments in the early 1940s – where the governments were exhibiting (in hindsight) bad behavior. If a conscientious citizen tried to protest the government’s bad behavior – the citizen would be severely rebuked by the cultural establishment – other citizens – media. What is a person to do ? I guess – if you were lucky – to just quietly accept and watch the brutal governments and your neighbors play out their power struggles.

    “Even those who cried “Appease ! Appease !
    are hanged by those they tried to please.”

  1. March 28th, 2010 at 12:30 | #1
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