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Policing and cybersociety: the maturation of regulation within an online community

Williams, Matthew Leighton ORCID: 2007. Policing and cybersociety: the maturation of regulation within an online community. Policing and Society 17 (1) , pp. 59-82. 10.1080/10439460601124858

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This article maps the maturation of regulation within an online social setting known as “Cyberworlds”. It provides an empirical example of online regulation at a “grassroots” level, adding to the wider debate of Internet governance. Detailed online observations and narratives elicited from over sixty online community members via a “virtual” focus group show the existence of a range of regulatory modes in operation. Online community members describe how social, technical and legal modes of regulation both co-exist and conflict in Cyberworlds. Shifts from community-led vigilante modes of regulation to more formal policing and technical models evidence how more structured modes of governance are emerging within online social spaces, devoid of “offline” involvement. Analysis suggests that a balance needs to be struck between these formal modes of regulation and the more informal social controls that preceded them. The article concludes by applying the analysis of regulation within Cyberworlds to the Internet more generally.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Internet regulation; cybercrime; crime prevention.
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1043-9463
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:58

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