Enactive Principles for the Ethics of User Interactions on Social Media: How to Overcome Systematic Misunderstandings Through Shared Meaning-Making

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This paper proposes three principles for the ethical design of online social environments aiming to minimise the unintended harms caused by users while interacting online, specifically by enhancing the users’ awareness of the moral load of their interactions. Such principles would need to account for the strong mediation of the digital environment and the particular nature of user interactions: disembodied, asynchronous, and ambiguous intent about the target audience. I argue that, by contrast to face to face interactions, additional factors make it more difficult for users to exercise moral sensitivity in an online environment. An ethics for social media user interactions is ultimately an ethics of human relations mediated by a particular environment; hence I look towards an enactive inspired ethics in formulating principles for human interactions online to enhance or at least do not hinder a user’s moral sensitivity. This enactive take on social media ethics supplements classical moral frameworks by asking us to focus on the relations established through the interactions and the environment created by those interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-437
Number of pages13
JournalTopoi: An International Review of Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Enactive cognition
  • Enactive ethics
  • Human computer interaction
  • Mediation
  • Online environments
  • Relational ethics
  • Social media
  • LEaDing Fellows

    Gutierrez, A., Dols Perez, A., Bae, D., Sahoo, H., Wang, W., Lam, K. L., Raimondo, A., Steffelbauer, D. B., Lesne, E. L., Ragno, E., Amador, G. J., Šiaudinyte, L., Sand, M., Robinson Garcia, N., Abil, Z., Purkarthofer, E., Noardo, F., Tasić, J. K., Marin, L., Angeloni, L., loddo, M., Stockill, R. H. J., Franklin, S. W., Hensen, B. J., Dennis, M. J., Afroza Islam, S. T., Kim, T., Manzaneque Garcia, T., Tiringer, U., Marques Penha, F., Esteban Jurado, C., Timmermans, E., McCrum, I. T., Pool, F., Forn-Cuní, G., Will, G., Barrett, H. E., Everett, J. A. C., Kostenzer, J., Luksenburg, J., Hirvasniemi, J., Desai, J., Ruibal, P., Albury, N. J., March, R., Eichengreen, A., Muok, A. R., Cochrane, A., Ravesteijn, B., Riumalló Herl, C. J., Meeusen, C., Biaggi, C., Granger, C., Cecil, C., Fosch Villaronga, E., Sánchez López, E. S., Loehrer, E., da Costa Gonçalves, F., Giardina, F., Wu, H., Gleitz, H. & Khatri, I.


    Project: Research

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