Towards Emancipatory Use of a Medium: The Wiki


  • Anja Ebersbach
  • Markus Glaser



With the rapid growth of the Internet in the 1990ies due to the WWW, many people’s hopes were raised that the spirit of egality, the emancipatory power of the medium then, would be brought to the masses. With the increasing commercialization, the net became and is becoming more and more a one-way medium for advertising. Against this development, a new form of web pages has emerged and is becoming increasingly popular: the Wiki. Its distinctive feature is that any web page can be edited by anyone. Participants attribute the success to this openness and to the resulting collective production of content. In his 1970 article “Constituents of a theory of the media”, Enzensberger developed a list of seven criteria that qualify, in his opinion, the use of a medium as emancipatory. These are used to investigate the question: Can wikis be thought of as a new form of emancipatory use of the medium?




How to Cite

Ebersbach, Anja, and Markus Glaser. 2004. “Towards Emancipatory Use of a Medium: The Wiki”. The International Review of Information Ethics 2 (November). Edmonton, Canada.