Virtue Ethics and a Technomoral Framework for Online Activism

Joe Cruz, Patrick Lee Plaisance


This article examines online activism from an ethical perspective and proposes a virtue theory framework through which to advocate specific normative standards. Over the years, digital media have become useful tools for social movements in democratic societies, providing them with spaces to congregate, exchange ideas, and mobilize. Yet, this same activism-enhancing digital infrastructure paradoxically thrives on ethically inadequate principles that could undermine activists’ efforts. Drawing on scholarship on technomoral virtues and media participation, this article aims to develop a set of moral guidelines that help reorient online activism toward the pursuit of a mode of social change that concerns itself with the cultivation of the self through interactions with peers and is simultaneously aware of the ethical challenges entrenched in the digital realm.


online activism, political discourse, virtue theory, technology ethics

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