Private AR and ethics

I think most people would agree that hate speech is problematic. The vandal who spray paints a swastika on a synagogue door is engaging the entire community in an ethical challenge.

These days, most communities would respond to such a challenge in a very negative way. Such an act would be labeled hate speech, and there would be consequences for the perpetrator.

But what about “speech” that is intended for nobody but oneself? Suppose, for example, you enhance your (slightly in the future) augmented reality glasses to draw a virtual swastika on the front door of every synagogue you can see — an intervention intended for your eyes only.

Have you committed an ethical violation of community standards? Have you, in fact, even engaged your community in any way?

Today I had a rousing debate with some colleagues about these very questions. We didn’t come up with any simple solutions, but we did work out some basic principles.

More tomorrow.

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