Thursday, February 22, 2007

Regarding the "Online Disinhibition Effect"

We think a lot about what we now know has a clinical term--the Online Disinhibition Effect, known in regular parlance as flaming. Most bloggers or people that are part of online communities where people leave comments know about it. So, it's a bit off-topic here and the article is a couple of days old, but OTBKB brought it our attention, because the New York Times' Psychology section is usually outside the long list of things we track every day. It's worth reading. We related to it, so we'll excerpt a few lines here and hope it doesn't attract any, you know, flames:
a problem recognized since the earliest days of the Internet: flaming, or sending a message that is taken as offensive, embarrassing or downright rude...thoughts expressed while sitting alone at the keyboard would be put more diplomatically — or go unmentioned — face to face.

Flaming has a technical name, the “online disinhibition effect,” which psychologists apply to the many ways people behave with less restraint in cyberspace.

Nice summary of the issue.

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