The Internet has been heralded as a place where there are no genders, no classes and no
races, an utopia where everyone is simply a netizen. While others have countered that
because Internet users have the option of being anonymous, the Net offers an unparalleled
opportunity for people to openly discuss a multifarious array of controversial topics they
would otherwise not discuss off-line. But will this openness extend to race? In other
words, will the Internet become a medium that is going to bring us together regardless of
race or simply exacerbate racial divisions and be a means for hate mongering? Will it
allow us to discuss sensitive racial issues that we seem
incapable to confront face to face. These are some of the questions we seek to explore in
the Open Net e-lab.
We have divided the site by topic, which is basically a short introduction on the issue followed by a set of questions to prod you on, then a comprehensive list of links that you can use to hopefully answer these questions. We have intentionally included more links than any one human not named Nesson can digest so that each user can dig as deep into each issue as she desires.
More important than any of the readings on this site is the hope that you can take a look at some of the chatrooms and forums we have included so you can see for yourself the tenor of the discussions going on on the Internet today. Maybe by taking an opportunity to visit some of these chat sites you can draw your own conclusions and have more profound thoughts on this topic. While it may seem daunting at first, we hope you at least give it a shot, it will really help you understand our class presentation better and maybe even make you into a chatting addict. Whatever it is you do we hope that you enjoy our website and have fun.
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