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Tact and Trust on the Internet: Can We Be Honest on the 'net?

Tact consists of being able to say a white lie without regret once in a while, and mainly to not reply when honesty would ruin group harmony.

Indeed, tact proves that situation ethics (appropriateness depends on the situation) is consistently applied in real life practice while everyone pretends to practice a general moral code of appropriateness.

IMHO in private, tact is usually abandoned in the intimacy of friendship due to investment of trust.

In public, tact is practiced when the situation calls for it (most of the time).

For it would be inappropriate to be bluntly honest with people in public.

The Internet is different, in that there is no intimacy in cyberspace. So blunt honesty may only used between real life friends, and tact is a given because anonymity does not build trust. Rather, trust only occurs once each party builds a one-on-one relationship in real-life.

Anonymity is why we hate trolls, and treat helpful advice from others as overstepping boundaries on-line.

At the root of this is the concept of earning trust, which is a real life behavior that does not always work on-line.

Those courageous on-line users who buck the trend and offer trust now do so hoping that the other party will honor that trust. Anyone who violates this accord becomes untrustworthy, and revenge is dependent on the nature of the one whose trust is violated.

This explains banning of IP numbers, Facebook disabled accounts and other on-line account hijacks.


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