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Friday, January 6, 2017

Freedom And Responsibility On The Internet

 by Jonathan Gropper

 As this year draws to a close, it also brings down the curtain on what we could effectively call the first Internet decade. While the Internet has been around for much longer than a decade, in many ways 1995 was the year when many of today's biggest names on the Internet were founded.

What a dynamic 10 years it has been for the Internet, comprising both the flight to stratospheric heights and the crash followed by a more cautious approach to get back on the feet. Thankfully, we seem to be running again...

However, this article is not about the impact the Internet has had on all aspects of our life - that is far too well documented already. Rather, I'd like to reiterate and highlight the striking parallel that the Internet has to some of the core values that American society cherishes (and I suspect, most of humankind does too)--freedom, democracy, and unlimited opportunity.

Isn't that what the Internet is all about? Freedom to cut across geographic barriers and interact with people from any part of the world; the freedom and the democratic rights to voice opinions and comment on matters that affect you, and the unlimited professional and personal opportunities that emanate from the first two mentioned attributes.

Blogging is one example of how virtually anyone can become a writer, with the only obstacle to getting one's thoughts published being one's desire and willingness to write or voice an opinion.

For that matter, consumers rate products and companies, complain about customer service levels, frustrated employees let out steam against employers--quite literally making an individual so much more powerful, because in the hyperlinked world of the Internet, the significance of "word of mouth" gets on to a completely different level.

On the positive side, the Internet makes a person altruistic: review a song or music you have heard, a movie you saw or a book you read, or you rate the quality of service by a service provider, and lo- you are helping another potential customer like you in their decision making process. and a website like have epitomized the benefits and powers of consumer recommendation.

Likewise, there are business and social networking websites, that are just getting recognized for the value they deliver to the participants and the immense potential to marketers looking to target a fairly engaged and Internet-savvy audience.

The Burden Of Responsibility 

Yet, with the freedom and democracy that empowers us with certain rights, comes the weight of ensuring that these rights are used responsibly. With the power to judge and rate that the Internet, and more specifically, sites such as the newly-launched Response Planet gives us, we almost become duty-bound to see that the power is used constructively.

Else, we run the risk of not trusting ourselves with the power of the tools we have at our disposal, and thereby failing to capitalize on the enormous opportunities offered by them. So, when we rate and post comments on sites that allow us to, there is an obligation to make a conscious effort not to be vicious or malicious. Or, as Google's stated motto was, "Don't be Evil"

About The Author:
Jonathan Gropper is President and Founder of Vortech Web and Business Solutions LLC and COO of, a comprehensive portal to list and find open houses in New Jersey. He is also a co-founder of, designed to be a place to read and rate everything on the planet.

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