The Social Impact of Social Computing
The ETHICOMP conference series was launched in 1995 by the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR). The purpose of this series is to provide an inclusive forum for discussing the ethical and social issues associated with the development and application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Conferences are held about every 18 months. There have been eleven previous conferences in Europe and beyond. Delegates and speakers from all continents have attended. Around 800 papers have been presented. Professor Terry Bynum and Professor Simon Rogerson are the founders and joint directors of the conference series, which this year comes to Sheffield Hallam University, in the north of England.
ETHICOMP 2011 has the overall theme of “The social impact of social computing”.
Wang et al (2007 p79) explain, "With the advance of Internet and Web technologies, the increasing accessibility of computing resources and mobile devices, the prevalence of rich media contents, and the ensuing social, economic, and cultural changes, computing technology and applications have evolved quickly over the past decade. They now go beyond personal computing, facilitating collaboration and social interactions in general. As such, social computing, a new paradigm of computing and technology development, has become a central theme across a number of information and communication technology (ICT) fields. It has become a hot topic attracting broad interest from not only researchers but also technologists, software and online game vendors, Web entrepreneurs, business strategists, political analysts, and digital government practitioners, to name a few."
There can be many positive effects of social computing, and the use of so-called ‘social media’. For example, it can be used beyond socialising to seek advice and professional development as well as offering new business uses. It creates a collective intelligence across society through interactive collaboration across fast communication networks. Citizens may be empowered by access to low-entry publishing, such as blogs, and the chance to talk across networks that link all walks of society. There is potential for a rise in eDemocracy through new voting mechanisms. It may help in establishing positive relationships, such as those between traders and consumers. It provides an opportunity to interact across cultures and countries, sharing perspectives and levelling playing fields.
However, there is considerable hype about the potential of networked media to lead change and some potentially harmful effects resulting from uses of social computing. For example, there are potential losses in privacy. There is increasing profiling of consumers and job applicants from information to be found on social media networks. Social computing, particularly when it is unregulated, provides platforms that have been used for harming children. Social interaction can become stilted through the use of media that are incapable of supporting all aspects of human communication in a flexible and adaptive manner.
The overall theme of ETHICOMP 2011 is the huge range of impacts on us all of advances in social computing. Under this theme, papers, with a social/ethical perspective, within the following areas are particularly welcomed.
Papers covering one or several of these perspectives are called for from business, government, computer science, information systems, law, media, anthropology, psychology, sociology and philosophy. Interdisciplinary papers and those from new researchers and practitioners are encouraged. A paper might take a conceptual, applied, practical or historical focus. Case studies and reports on lessons learned in practice are welcomed.
How to submit
As in previous ETHICOMP conferences, papers written in English and not published nor submitted elsewhere will be accepted on the basis of an extended abstract of between 800 and 1000 words after a careful review by Programme Committee members. Whilst more than one paper from an author or co-authors is welcomed the final decision on which papers are accepted will probably lead to no more than three papers from a given author being accepted. This will give more opportunity for as many people as possible to participate in ETHICOMP 2011.
The first page of each submission must include the title, all of the authors' names, affiliations, complete mailing addresses including email, telephone numbers, and a statement of commitment that one of the authors will present the paper at ETHICOMP 2011 in the UK.
A submission lacking any of the above information or outside the range of 800-1000 word limit may not be considered by the Programme Committee for inclusion in the conference programme.
Please make submissions in the electronic form via email as embedded plain text or an attachment in RTF format.
Abstracts must be submitted no later than 07 February 2011 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Authors will be informed of the decision of the Programme Committee by 04 April 2011.
30 September 2010 - Call for papers
07 February 2011 - Latest date to submit abstracts to email@example.com
04 April 2011 - Authors informed of programme committee decisions
20 June 2011 - Last date for receipt of full papers from authors (electronic version)14 September to 16 September 2011 - ETHICOMP 2011, Sheffield Hallam University, UK