Anyone interested in humanizing the Internet? Please check out my recent article & send me any examples of digital altruism you find so I can include them in future work. Thanks!
Dana Klisanin, Ph.D. ’03, M.A. ’00 DanaKlisanin@aol.com
Millions of individuals are using the Internet to act on behalf of the needs of other people, animals, and the environment; however research in this area is limited. To encourage such research, this exploration involved a review of research in the area of altruism and the Internet, as well as an Internet-based search for websites that facilitate digital actions that result in benefit to other people, animals, or the environment. To differentiate this research from that of e-philanthropy, the websites selected did not require a monetary donation from the visitor. Gruber’s (1997) analysis of altruism, as a spectrum of activity, was utilized to evaluate the websites. The evaluation revealed three forms of digital altruism: “everyday digital altruism,” involving expedience, ease, moral engagement, and conformity; “creative digital altruism,” involving creativity, heightened moral engagement, and cooperation; and “co-creative digital altruism” involving creativity, moral engagement, and meta-cooperative efforts.