Bots, Social Capital, and the Need for Civility

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5 Scopus citations


Politicians, hate groups, counterpublics of science, and even socially-minded critics use bots to pad their numbers, spread information, and engage in social critique. This article pursues the ethics of bots beyond the automated or not question that dominates the literature and offers the concept of bot civility. Machinic and social bot strategies are discussed with regard for the manufacture of social capital—bot incivility. The analysis suggests that bots, which do not trick persons into thinking they are human, are not necessarily morally neutral and that some bots that emulate persons can actually be ethically sensible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-132
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Media Ethics: Exploring Questions of Media Morality
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Philosophy


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