Evil Online (2018)

By Dean Cocking and Jeroen van den Hoven

evil online

We now live in an era defined by the ubiquity of the internet. From our everyday engagement with social media to trolls on forums and the emergence of the dark web, the internet is a space characterized by unreality, isolation, anonymity, objectification, and rampant self-obsession—the perfect breeding ground for new, unprecedented manifestations of evil. Evil Online is the first comprehensive analysis of evil and moral character in relation to our increasingly online lives.

Chapters consider traditional ideas around the phenomenon of evil in moral philosophy and explore how the dawn of the internet has presented unprecedented challenges to older theoretical approaches. Cocking and Van den Hoven propose that a growing sense of moral confusion—moral fog—pushes otherwise ordinary, normal people toward evildoing, and that values basic to moral life such as autonomy, intimacy, trust, and privacy are put at risk by online platforms and new technologies. This new theory of evildoing offers fresh insight into the moral character of the individual, and opens the way for a burgeoning new area of social thought.

A comprehensive analysis of an emerging and disturbing social phenomenon, Evil Online examines the morally troubling aspects of the internet in our society. Written not only for academics in the fields of philosophy, psychology, information science, and social science, Evil Online is accessible and compelling reading for anyone interested in understanding the emergence of evil in our digitally-dominated world.

Published:
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell