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Ethical Issues in the Fight Against Revenge Porn


The Media Ethics Initiative & the Graduate Communication Council Present:

Ethical Issues in the Fight Against Revenge Porn

Dr. Scott R. Stroud, Associate Professor of Communication Studies

University of Texas at Austin

March 21, 2017 — 3-4:30PM — Room: CMA 5.136 (LBJ Seminar Room)

There has been an increasing legislative and academic dialogue over the growing online plague of revenge porn, or the posting of nude images without a depicted subject’s consent. Most of the dialogue about this awful phenomenon assumes that it is a simple activity with straightforward ethical problems speaking for its total moral and legal condemnation. While most instances of revenge porn are harmful, non-consensual, and have no socially-redeeming worth, the complexity of this phenomenon must be acknowledged. After detailing what revenge porn is, some of the ethical issues it raises will be discussed. The challenges of balancing restrictions on harmful communication with the imperatives of free speech will be explored. Additionally, ambiguity over issues of informal consent and the future use of shared digital content will be detailed. Much previous scholarship has overlooked these nuances in the race for legislative action, but the present talk encourages us to resist simple narratives about this new problem in digital media ethics.

Dr. Scott Stroud is the Director of the Media Ethics Initiative and an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Texas at Austin. His research covers a range of topics in communication and philosophy. He is the author of John Dewey and the Artful Life (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011), Kant and the Promise of Rhetoric (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2014), and A Practical Guide to Ethics: Living and Leading with Integrity (co-authored with Rita Manning, Westview Press, 2007). He has published work on a variety of topics in media ethics, including blogging ethics, revenge porn, and the online activism of Anonymous.

Free and open to the UT community and general public

For further information, contact Dr. Scott Stroud

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