According to these reviews from a popular apartment-sharing site, I am someone who is “nice” and “respectful” in person. Perhaps a more substantive question — for my future as an academic and scholar — might be what kind of a person I appear to be online. “Respectful” and “nice” can actually be contentious terms, I am going to argue, if they become valued by institutions and professional associations, so it may perhaps be better to aim to be “generous” instead.
Discussions about online speech and civility have decades of history in digital rights discourses. This month many academics — some of whom might be new to this conversation — have been challenged to take unpopular (or popular) positions in the name of academic freedom and to explore their suppositions about how networked computational media function (or don’t function) as a form of public sphere.