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Royal Institute of Philosophy Talk: 'Hijacked in Heterotopia? The Ethics of Facebook' by Nick Aldridge on Tuesday 02 April 2019








 Speaker: Nick  Aldridge
It is smashing to have one of our own giving a talk and I thank Nick for all his thoughts and hard work in preparing a hot topic of online social networks, including Facebook,  which have a role in spreading information and (mis)information.
 Nick examined Foucault’s notion of heterotopia: a kind of artificial utopia that reflects and distorts the “real” world and asking what what are the consequences for our world.  I liked the angle which asked to what extent is human nature, rather than technology, to blame for our troubles and concerns.  

But, thank you, to you the audience, who contributed very well, where, as well as asking pertinent questions, encouraging discussion, and adding some amusement -  although I'm not going to recount certain online jests !
 





Dr Barbie Underwood: Chair

Abstract:

Online social networks have come in for much recent criticism over their use of data, their role in spreading (mis)information and unsavoury content, and their supposed ill effects on our mental health. In this talk Nick will examine the nature and purpose of a social network, drawing on Foucault’s notion of heterotopia: a kind of artificial utopia that reflects and distorts the “real” world, while illuminating the artificiality of our own social constructs. But how do social networks reflect and distort our world, and what are the consequences? To what extent is human nature, rather than technology, to blame for our troubles and concerns? Nick will discuss these questions, drawing on an essay by Robin Rymarczuk in Philosophy Now, the thoughts of ethicists who have emerged from the major technology companies, and his own experience.