Though the internet is, in a number of ways, good for philosophy, it isn’t always good to philosophers. The needless hostility, harassment and scary threats, personal insults, bullheadedness, impatient demands, etc., widely broadcast for all to see (and discussed a bit here) can be a deterrent to participation and a nasty “reward” for engaging with the public.
Examples of these problems, a discussion of their effects and the issues they raise, and strategies for handling them will be the subject of a special session at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association (APA) later this week (Friday, January 8th at 1:30pm). Arranged by the APA’s Committee on Public Philosophy (CPP), the session includes the following talks:
- “The Implications of Anonymity in Social Media” by Margaret Crouch (Eastern Michigan)
- “Strategies for Dealing with Online Harassment” by Karen Frost-Arnold (Hobart & William Smith)
- “Fear and Loathing” by Jason Stanley (Yale)
I’ll be there, too. Moderating.
This is a topic of keen interest to the members of the CPP, and to many others in the profession. If you have a view about these and related matters, or questions about them, feel free to post them in the comments here. If time allows, we can take them up during the session.
(image: “When the Universe Is Addressed Ceremoniously it Will Respond” by Sheila Ghidini)