In Chapter 2, Baym discusses the concept of “moral panic” and how individuals react to changes in technology by attempting to fit their understanding of them into a moral framework. As you read in the Module Notes, these moral panics often emerge suddenly in the face of new technology and often, but not always, revolve around concerns about women and children. This activity will ask you to examine a recent moral panic and consider its origins and impact.

You will be writing an essay and choosing one of the following recent moral panics over new media to research:

 Teen sexting
 Internet trolling
 Cyberbullying
 Terrorist online recruiting
• Internet-facilitated infidelity

In the essay, please address the following questions (at the very least) about the way individuals think about and understand new media in moral terms:

  • Is there a genuine widespread problem that caused the moral panic?
  • Why did this issue give rise to such concern?
  • Using the key terms and ideas from Fichman and Sanfilippo’s article on gender and trolling from the Module 2 required reading, discuss whether you feel men and women view this moral panic differently? Why or why not?
  • Is new media truly to blame for the behavior that caused the moral panic, or is it being used as a scapegoat for behavior that previously occurred offline?
  • Finally, conclude by considering whether the rise of a new technology in the future will cause the current concern over new media to subside. Will we still be worried that individuals are using new media improperly in the future? Or will these concerns wane as new media become more established and integrated into our lives?

Your essay must meet the following criteria:

  1. Write a 3-4 page essay with a maximum 1,200 word limit.
  2. Develop an organized and coherent essay, using transitions between paragraphs.
  3. Generate a thesis at the end of the introduction which argues a position.
  4. Develop substantial ideas and articulate them through proper syntax, grammar and spelling.
  5. Using the Excelsior Library, locate 2-4 credible sources on this issue, such as a book, a journal article, a scholarly website, newspapers, or magazines. Please refer to the assignment tip sheet (Links to an external site.) [PDF, File size 187 KB] and the Excelsior Library subject guide (Links to an external site.) to help you perform research.
  6. Cite the text, specified readings, and research (with page numbers) and reference it at the end of the essay.
  7. Employ APA style.