Online Vigilante Justice: Is it Ever Ethical?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Online vigilante justice has become commonplace in China, but it also occurs right here in the U.S. It's a phenomenon in which internet users hunt down and punish people who’ve attracted their wrath...oftentimes for unpunished acts that are considered reprehensible. Some feel this particular form using tech savvy to give people what they deserve is useful, but questions arise about whether online vigilantism is dangerous.

 

Tom Downey is the author of story on this topic which will appear in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine. He explains to listeners what it’s all about. And Randy Cohen, author of  The New York Times Magazine's “Ethicist” column, shares his opinions on whether online vigilante justice is ever ethical or justified.

An example from New York City's Jimmy Justice, a YouTube user who has gained hundreds of thousands of views of his contentious videos:

Guests:

Randy Cohen

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Contributors:

Tom Downey

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