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The Inquiring OrganizationHow Organizations Acquire Knowledge and Seek Information$
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Chun Wei Choo

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199782031

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782031.001.0001

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Internet Epistemology

Internet Epistemology

(p.169) 8 Internet Epistemology
The Inquiring Organization

Chun Wei Choo

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the small body of research that examines the epistemic consequences of using Internet-based sources such as search engines, online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia; blogs; social media; and “big data” to seek information and acquire knowledge. In particular, developments in social media and “big data” offer organizations the ability to not only see but also shape how and what knowledge is being acquired by their constituencies, the tone and direction of discourses, as well as the tropes and rhetoric being brought to bear in talking about issues. The chapter concludes that an unreflexive use of Internet-based sources poses epistemic risks for organizational information seeking and knowledge acquisition. The chapter also discusses in general terms the epistemic consequences of Internet anonymity; the role that epistemic virtues could play in promoting epistemically conscientious Internet use; and the identification of epistemic norms that would enhance the epistemic effectiveness of online communities.

Keywords:   Internet epistemology, search engines, Wikipedia, blogs, social media, big data, Internet anonymity

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