This project that will be carried out during the next few years is about Ethical Challenges in Digitality. The partner company is a Finnish broadcasting company Yleisradio (YLE). The YLE did not really have any actual wicked problem from this particular field of ECID that they would require answers or approaches to. In practice, this meant that they gave the leverage to choose the topic to the student. The field of Ethical Challenges in Digitality (ECID) is diverse and obviously too large to crystallize in one project. In fact, the field of ECID is so broad that it is not possible to describe it exhaustively. That is because of its ubiquity. It is possible to present some manifestations of it, and thus try to understand the topic better. The ECID is like the sea and the example cases that have been chosen for this project are like the fishes and plant life. This metaphor calls us to realize the fact that we really cannot understand the concept of sea thoroughly with the concepts of fishes and vice versa. It is important to emphasize that these value judgements – that are partly unintentionally made – are not trying to suggest an order of importance in the ethical issues of digitality. At their best, they can only try to make sense of the ethical diversity.
As a result of mapping possibilities and interests, the project will consist of three example cases considering ECID. The first approach is the Culture of Intentional Misunderstanding in online discussions. The second one is the speed justice in social media. An attempt to describe this could be the following: The lack of criticism comes before the desire for justice. The third approach is yet to be named, but it will most likely come from the field of sustainable design.
The reason why this project was designed in the presented way is practical. It is the most sensible way to operate in a concrete manner, while the ECID itself is quite an abstract concept that is difficult to detect in action. For instance, people tend to see the culture of intentional misunderstanding as an inevitable evil in our online discussion. The problem is acknowledged, but not holistically understood, which harms the correction of the situation. It is just something that we have to live with. This project tries to highlight the fact that the conventionality of these issues is not justified. This pursuit is at the same time the justification for this project. While the project – hopefully – provides insight of these phenomena, it can also expose those prevailing practices that maintain, for instance, harmful interaction between users and to show why these operations need to be rethought.