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Zastrow, Volker

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung - Germany | 19/04/2009

The Internet is not a cure to all woes

In the last ten years one and a half billion people have started using the wide-ranging applications offered by the Internet, which has changed the nature of communication like few other inventions. The Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung advises readers to approach the medium with a dose of sceptical realism: "The Internet ideology cultivates the idea of an entirely disengaged freedom, a freedom without responsibility. This is nothing but run-of-the-mill permissive nonsense, a vulgar concept of freedom which, thought right through to the end and acted upon, results in crime. However the Internet also serves to legitimate this nonsense by giving dumb ideas an irresistible glow. ... Google, for instance, can spread all kind of filth with impunity (except in China), because its operators resort to the argument that the site is so to speak only a machine. As a medium the Internet is given a special status which suspends the principle of responsibility. For example, it provides a forum for puplic derision and abuse the likes of which we have never before seen."

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