Private and public on the Internet
January - May 2012
The “Private and public on the Internet” cycle seeks to explore how we have come in recent years to attribute the features of a public place to the Internet. For better or worse, we tend to take it for granted that the freedoms, rights and obligations that govern our behaviour and relationships in public space apply, or at least should apply, as they stand in cyberspace. But is that actually the case? Where is the line dividing public from private on the Internet? And can we freely reproduce behaviours on the Internet which we consider self-evident in traditional public space? If not, what are the possible consequences of exercising our political freedoms on line, and what can we do to safeguard them and maximize the benefits accruing to our Internet use? Should we also guarantee the right to anonymity? How does the Internet work as a sphere for organizing citizen movements in democratic and authoritarian contexts? Finally, how are interpersonal relationships being transformed in the social networks era?