Howard Rheingold: Virtual Communities and the Internet

by Plutopia News Network
Photo of Howard Rheingold by Christopher Michel

Howard Rheingold joins Jon and Scoop for a discussion that includes virtual communities, social media, AI and chatbots, media education, good vs bad on the Internet, cultural evolution, and tools for thought. Howard is a writer, critic, and teacher, former editor of “Whole Earth Review”, and author of several books including Virtual Reality, The Virtual Community, and Smart Mobs.

Howard Rheingold:

The Internet and social media is like a tide that lifts all boats. And that means that the hospital ships and the pirate ships are enabled. If you are the only gay teenager in a small town, or you have a very rare disease that only one in a million people have, then social media is a lifeline for you. If you’re the only Nazi in a small town, you can connect with like-minded souls and do bad things. When I wrote The Virtual Community, when I first wrote the article “Virtual Communities” in Whole Earth Review in 1987, the online population was mostly college students and computer scientists and a few early adopters, like all of us. Now it’s a significant percentage of the human race. I think it’s about a quarter or a fifth of the human population, and with that, you’re going to get the people who want to do good things and the people who want to bad things, and it’s pretty clear that the ability to do bad things has been vastly amplified.

Photo by Chris Michel

CC BY-SA 4.0

Dig these related posts...

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

1 comment

Howard Rheingold On The Positive And Negative Sides Of The Internet And Social Media - AI Summary June 27, 2023 - 3:17 am

[…] Read the complete article at: […]