To know or not to know: A moral reflection on information poverty

  • Britz J
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Abstract

This article reflects, from an ethical perspective, on the problem of information poverty. Information poverty is defined as that situation in which individuals and communities, within a given context, do not have the requisite skills, abilities or material means to obtain efficient access to information, interpret it and apply it appropriately. It is further characterized by a lack of essential information and a poorly developed information infrastructure. It is argued in this article that information poverty is a serious moral concern and a matter of social justice and as such should be on the world’s moral agenda of social responsibility. Based on social justice a set of broad ethical principles are formulated that can be used to guide the social, economic and political initiatives to solve information poverty and to create a fair information society.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Access to information
  • Access to technology
  • Digital divide
  • Ethics
  • Information poverty
  • Information society
  • Social exclusion
  • Social justice

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Authors

  • Johannes J. Britz

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