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Bad Communities

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2005
JournalM/C: A Journal of Media and Culture
Journal number1
Volume8
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Over the last decade or so, much has been written about the possibilities offered by the internet for creating sites of community based on exchange, collaboration, and reciprocity. Since Howard Rheingold published his polemic, The Virtual Community, in 1993, much has been written on this subject. The notion of just what constitutes ‘virtual reality’ has been extensively debated; however, ‘community’ is almost universally assumed to be good. There are failed communities and successful communities, but the critique of ‘community’ itself as a concept stops there. How, then, do we account for websites that create a sense of community precisely through the promotion of hatred and violence, and on which hatred of others is what the community ‘has in common’?