Building social networks ethics beyond “privacy”: a sociological perspective


  • Sami Coll
  • Olivier Glassey
  • Claire Balleys



This article aims to widen the question of online social networks sites (SNS) ethics going beyond the questions of privacy and self-management of data, yet dominant in the public debates. The main theoretical framework developed in this paper, based both on recent contributions and classical sociology, is that SNS have to deal with the social dynamics of distinction and social classes like in any other spaces. From this perspective, focusing only on online privacy is too subjective and individualistic to provide a satisfying answer. Thus, we suggest that transparency should be considered as a social and collective fact rather than an individual characteristic. Boundaries between online and offline world are becoming increasingly porous and we argue, although acknowledging certain particular characteristics of SNS, that SNS ethics should be less about the specificities of online behaviors than on their articulation with the social world.




How to Cite

Coll, Sami, Olivier Glassey, and Claire Balleys. 2011. “Building Social Networks Ethics Beyond ‘privacy’: A Sociological Perspective”. The International Review of Information Ethics 16 (December). Edmonton, Canada:47-53.