I found the content of chapter 28 in “The Participatory Cultures Handbook” very interesting. This chapter discusses five fundamental areas of ethical concern within participatory cultures and these five areas are access, rulemaking, connectedness, contribution, and freedom.
If participatory cultures are to reach their full potential then we must first become aware of the differences in access. There must be universal and meaningful access for all human if the participatory cultures are to progress as a whole. The disparity in access is only the first step. People with access become members of certain participatory cultures and once members, it is their duty to develop and enforce new rules while also making sure that new members understand them. It is through this rulemaking, that one member decides whether or not to choose to display hospitality towards another member. Hospitality is a “positive inclusivity which seeks out different viewpoints and unheard voices (Ward and Wasserman, p. 288) and it is this form of connectedness that allows growth. Members of a participatory culture do not have to contribute, however all members must feel as if they are free to contribute when they are ready. It is the hospitality and connectedness (or lack thereof) that pushes members into a certain rule-abiding direction of contribution. The final fundamental area of ethics is freedom of expression.
The most interesting area of ethics pertaining to participatory cultures to me was the section on contribution. I found the difference between respect and knowability within participatory cultures intriguing. Henderson states, “Respect must be at the core of valued participation” (277). Respect arises through interaction so when a member “constructively contributes to a participatory culture then he or she gains respect” (277).. Some member’s real-world fame and credibility bring them ‘instant knowability’ which is different from instant respect. Knowability has no implication of respect for or from any participatory culture. The interesting part to me is that one can be unknown yet respected or known in the real world but not respected. This concept directs the focus onto the contributions to a participatory culture and not the identity of an individual.Under this concept, the real world identity of an individual seems to not not matter as long as the individual makes constructive contributions to a participatory culture. Does anyone think otherwise? Can the real world knowability of a person affect their respect within online participatory cultures?