New Academic Culture: Digital Ethics in Virtual Communication


The relevance of this research is due to the significance of the problems of compliance with ethical standards in general and the obvious need to establish common rules of communication in the virtual environment, which became the main platform for academic communication during the pandemic. It is obvious that cultural traditions often lag far behind the changes that are taking place in the field of online communication. Among modern youth, there are differences in the perception of the culture of behavior in the real vs. virtual world. The aim of this research was to analyze the content of the new concept of ‘digital ethics’ and to study the ideas of value and moral guidelines in virtual communication among students of higher education institutions. The work was based on a socio-cultural methodological approach. The main method used was an online questionnaire created in Google Forms. The respondents were students of two Russian universities. The survey was conducted in January–February 2021 on a voluntary and anonymous basis. The results of the study demonstrated an increasing interest in the problems of compliance with moral and ethical standards in digital communication. The level of digital ethics was rated as average by the respondents. Among the main factors identified that influence the ethics of a particular person’s behavior were the family, social circle, and level of education. The main recommendation for reducing violations of ethical norms in digital communication was the need for early education of children based on cultural traditions and moral foundations, while legislative initiatives of a prohibitive nature (for example, fines) did not receive adequate support from respondents. This paper provides reference points both for further in-depth research on digital ethics issues and for making concrete decisions in the academic environment.

Keywords: digital ethics, virtual communication, culture of behavior, digital environment

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