Digital Well-Being and Manipulation Online

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Social media use is soaring globally. Existing research of its ethical implications predominantly focuses on the relationships amongst human users online, and their effects. The nature of the software-to-human relationship and its impact on digital well-being, however, has not been sufficiently addressed yet. This paper aims to close the gap. I argue that some intelligent software agents, such as newsfeed curator algorithms in social media, manipulate human users because they do not intend their means of influence to reveal the user’s reasons. I support this claim by defending a novel account of manipulation and by showing that some intelligent software agents are manipulative in this sense. Apart from revealing a priori reason for thinking that some intelligent software agents are manipulative, the paper offers a framework for further empirical investigation of manipulation online.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Ethics of Digital Well-being
Subtitle of host publicationA Multidisciplinary Approach
EditorsChristopher Burr, Luciano Floridi
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-50585-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-50584-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePhilosophical Studies Series
ISSN (Print)0921-8599
ISSN (Electronic)2542-8349


  • Digital ethics
  • Digital well-being
  • Intelligent software agents
  • Manipulation
  • Persuasive technology


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