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Ethics: New Technologies

  • By: Natalie Lambert
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

New technologies—most recently social media, Web 2.0, and mobile devices—represent innovations that assist users in achieving goals and solving problems. New technologies transform how people communicate, consequently altering the ways in which people consider ethics in communicating about specific topics such as health. Health communicators must consider how new technologies impact health communication research and practice in order to make informed ethical decisions and fulfill ethical responsibilities to their audiences, the organizations they represent, and themselves. Discussion of new technologies in health communication contexts can be grouped into four primary areas of concern: identity, credibility, privacy, and ownership.

Identity

New communication technologies facilitate interaction between thousands of individuals who join social Web sites and create online profiles, which become their digital identities. Health professionals and researchers have ...

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