Digitalization and development of information and communication technology: New challenges or escalation of old problems?

Evgeniy V. Maslanov
Insti­tute of Phi­los­o­phy, Russ­ian Acad­e­my of Sci­ences

Dig­i­tal­iza­tion and devel­op­ment of infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­o­gy: New chal­lenges or esca­la­tion of old prob­lems?

Abstract. This paper inves­ti­gates the impact of dig­i­tal and new infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies on the trans­for­ma­tion of human iden­ti­ty, on urban life, social, polit­i­cal and sci­en­tif­ic prac­tices. Bas­ing on the com­par­a­tive method, the author attempts to show that the use of new dig­i­tal and infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies leads to both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive con­se­quences. In the first case, tech­nolo­gies cre­ate new op-por­tu­ni­ties for the for­ma­tion of iden­ti­ties, a greater inclu­sion of the pop­u­la­tion into urban life, as well as for the evo­lu­tion of new social, polit­i­cal and sci­en­tif­ic prac­tices. In the sec­ond case, the for­ma­tion of new tech­no-dig­i­tal iden­ti­ties might lead to exis­ten­tial crises and human dehu­man­iza­tion. New prac­tices of infor­ma­tion search and the use of social net­works con­tribute to shap­ing of an infor­ma­tion cocoon and author­i­tar­i­an regimes, while sci­en­tif­ic knowl­edge ceas­es to be con­trolled by human­i­ty and human rea­son. At the same time, this dig­i­tal ambiva­lence sharp­ens old prob­lems, show­ing their fun­da­men­tal impor­tance, though not form­ing a new agen­da. The point is that not so much the new tech­nolo­gies them­selves pos­sess inno­v­a­tive poten­tial but pos­si­ble projects for con­struct­ing new socio­cul­tur­al and tech­no­log­i­cal con­di­tions for their use have it.

Key­words: dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy, new infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­o­gy, dig­i­tal­iza­tion, iden­ti­ty, civic activism, sci­ence, Inter­net

DOI: 10.5840/dspl2019211

The study was car­ried out with the finan­cial sup­port of the RFBR grant no. 18–311-00187 “Com­mu­ni­ca­tion plat­forms in the Inter­net as ‘trad­ing zone’: per­spec­tives and lim­i­ta­tions (Russ­ian con­text)”.


  1. Algo­ritm «Palekh»: kak neiron­nye seti pomo­gayut poisku Yan­dek­sa [Palekh Algo­rithm: How Neur­al Net­works Help Yan­dex Search], Yandex’s Blog. Novem­ber 2, 2016. Avail­able at: (accessed on Decem­ber 26, 2018). (In Russ­ian)
  2. Asmolov, A.G., Asmolov, G.A. Ot My-media k Ya-media: trans­for­mat­sii iden­tich­nos­ti v vir­tu­al­nom mire [From We-media to I-media: Iden­ti­ty Trans­for­ma­tions in the Vir­tu­al World], Voprosy psikhologii, 2009, no. 3, pp. 3–15. (In Russ­ian)
  3. Back, M.D., Stopfer, J.M., Vazire, S., Gad­dis, S., Schmuk­le, S.C., Egloff, B., Gosling, S.D. Face­book Pro­files Reflect Actu­al Per­son­al­i­ty, Not Self-ide­al­iza­tion, Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence, 2010, vol. 21, iss. 3, pp. 372–374. DOI: 10.1177/0956797609360756.
  4. Bar­ber­ousse, A., Vorms, M. About the War­rants of Com­put­er-Based Empir­i­cal Knowl­edge, Syn­these, 2014, vol. 191, no. 15, pp. 3595–3620. DOI: 10.1007/s11229-014‑0482-6.
  5. Baye­va, L.V. Elek­tron­naya kul­tura: opyt filosof­sko­go anal­iza [Elec­tron­ic Cul­ture: The Expe­ri­ence of Philo­soph­i­cal Analy­sis], Voprosy filosofii, 2013, no. 5, pp.75–83. (In Russ­ian)
  6. Bots­man, R. Big Data Meets Big Broth­er as Chi­na Moves to Rate Its Cit­i­zens, Wired, 21 Octo­ber 2017. Avail­able at: (accessed on Decem­ber 22, 2018).
  7. Bren­ton, P., von Gav­el, S., Vogel, E., Lecoq, M.-S. Tech­nol­o­gy Infra­struc­ture for Cit­i­zen Sci­ence, in: Heck­er, S., Hak­lay, M., Bows­er, A., Makuch, Z., Vogel, J., Bonn, A. (eds.), Cit­i­zen Sci­ence: Inno­va­tion in Open Sci­ence, Soci­ety and Pol­i­cy. Lon­don: UCL Press, 2018, pp. 63–80.
  8. Buck­els, E.E., Trap­nell, P.D., Paul­hus, D.L. Trolls Just Want to Have Fun, Per­son­al­i­ty and Indi­vid­ual Dif­fer­ences, 2014, vol. 67, pp. 97–102. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2014.01.016.
  9. Cook, C., Schaaf­s­ma, J., Anthe­u­nis, M. Under the Bridge: An In-depth Exam­i­na­tion of Online Trolling in the Gam­ing Con­text, New Media & Soci­ety, 2018, vol. 20, iss. 9, pp. 3323–3340. DOI: 10.1177/1461444817748578.
  10. Davis, J.L., Love, T.P., Killen, G. Seri­ous­ly Fun­ny: The Polit­i­cal Work of Humor on Social Media, New Media & Soci­ety, 2018, vol. 20, iss. 10, pp. 3898–3916. DOI: 10.1177/1461444818762602.
  11. de Souza e Sil­va, A. Loca­tion-aware Mobile Tech­nolo­gies: His­tor­i­cal, Social and Spa­tial Approach­es, Mobile Media & Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, 2013, vol. 1, iss. 1, pp. 116–121. DOI: 10.1177/2050157912459492.
  12. Dour­ish, P., Williams, A. Imag­in­ing the City: The Cul­tur­al Dimen­sions of Urban Com­put­ing, Com­put­er, 2006, vol. 39, iss. 9, pp. 38–43. DOI: 10.1109/MC.2006.313.
  13. Dushi­na, S.A., Khva­to­va, T.Yu., Niko­layenko, G.A. Aka­demich­eskiye inter­net-seti: plat­for­ma nauchno­go obme­na ili insta­gram dlya uchenykh? (Na primere Research­Gate) [Aca­d­e­m­ic Online Net­works: A Research Shar­ing Plat­form or an Insta­gram for Sci­en­tists? (On Research­Gate exam­ple)], Sot­si­o­logich­eskie issle­dovaniya, 2018, no. 5, pp. 121–131. DOI: 10.7868/S0132162518050112. (In Russ­ian)
  14. Gob­le, C. Bet­ter Soft­ware, Bet­ter Research, IEEE Inter­net Com­put­ing, 2014, vol. 18, iss. 5, pp. 4–8.
  15. Goff­man, E. Pove­deniye v pub­lich­nykh mes­takh. Zamet­ki o sot­sial­noy orga­ni­zat­sii sbor­ishch [Behav­ior in Pub­lic Places. Notes on the Social Orga­ni­za­tion of Gath­er­ings] / trans. by A. Kor­but. Moscow: Ele­men­tarnyy formy Publ., 2017. 382 pp. (In Russ­ian)
  16. Green, J.E. The Eyes of the Peo­ple. Democ­ra­cy in an Age of Spec­ta­tor­ship. Oxford: Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press. 2010. 296 pp.
  17. Gure­vich, P.S. Fenomen deantropol­o­gizat­sii che­love­ka [The Phe­nom­e­non of Human Dean­thro­pol­o­giza­tion], Voprosy filosofii, 2009, no. 3, pp. 19–31. (In Russ­ian)
  18. Heck­er, S., Hak­lay, M., Bows­er, A., Makuch, Z., Vogel, J., Bonn, A. Inno­va­tion in Open Sci­ence, Soci­ety and Pol­i­cy – Set­ting the Agen­da for Cit­i­zen Sci­ence, in: Heck­er, S., Hak­lay, M., Bows­er, A., Makuch, Z., Vogel, J., Bonn, A. (eds.) Cit­i­zen Sci­ence: Inno­va­tion in Open Sci­ence, Soci­ety and Pol­i­cy. Lon­don: UCL Press, 2018, pp. 1–23.
  19. How­i­son, J., Herb­sleb, J. Sci­en­tif­ic Soft­ware Pro­duc­tion: Incen­tives and Col­lab­o­ra­tion, in: Pro­ceed­ings of the ACM 2011 Con­fer­ence on Com­put­er Sup­port­ed Coop­er­a­tive Work. New York: ACM, 2011, pp. 513–522.
  20. Judith, S.D. Iden­ti­ty and Decep­tion in the Vir­tu­al Com­mu­ni­ty, in: Smith, M.A., Kol­lock, P. (eds) Com­mu­ni­ties in Cyber­space. Lon­don: Rout­ledge, 2010. pp. 27–58.
  21. Keane, J. Democ­ra­cy and Media Deca­dence. New York: Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2013. 255 pp.
  22. Kim, B.J., Kavanaugh, A.L., Hult, K.M. Civic Engage­ment and Inter­net Use in Local Gov­er­nance: Hier­ar­chi­cal Lin­ear Mod­els for Under­stand­ing the Role of Local Com­mu­ni­ty Groups, Admin­is­tra­tion & Soci­ety, 2011, vol. 43, iss. 7, pp. 807–835. DOI: 10.1177/0095399711413873.
  23. Kir­illov, A. Kak rab­o­tayet sis­tema sot­sialno­go doveriya v Kitaye [How Does the Social Trust Sys­tem Work in Chi­na], TASS, 29 May 2018. Avail­able at: (accessed on Decem­ber 21, 2018). (In Russ­ian)
  24. Knieps, G. Inter­net of Things and the Eco­nom­ics of Smart Sus­tain­able Cities, Com­pe­ti­tion and Reg­u­la­tion in Net­work Indus­tries, 2017, vol. 18, iss. 1–2, pp. 115–131. DOI: 10.1177/1783591717736502.
  25. Kuty­rov, V.A. Oni idut… vstrechayte! (ob antropo­logich­eskoy involyut­sii tekhno­gen­noy tsiv­i­lizat­sii) [They are Com­ing … Meet! (On the Anthro­po­log­i­cal Invo­lu­tion of Man-made Civ­i­liza­tion)], Filosofiya khozyayst­va, 2018, no. 1, pp. 218–226. (In Russ­ian)
    Lup­ton, D. Dig­i­tal Soci­ol­o­gy. Lon­don; New York: Rout­ledge. 236 pp.
  26. Maslanov, E.V. Kraud­sors­ing v nauke: novyy ele­ment nauch­noy infra­struk­tu­ry [Crowd­sourc­ing in Sci­ence: A New Ele­ment of Sci­en­tif­ic Infra­struc­ture], Filosofiya nau­ki i tekhni­ki, 2018, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 141–155. (In Russ­ian)
  27. McGann, J. Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy and the Trou­bled Human­i­ties, TEXT Tech­nol­o­gy, 2005, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 105–121.
  28. Moro­zov, E. Tekhnone­nav­ist: kak inter­net otuchil nas dumat [Tech­none­nav­ist: How the Inter­net Taught Us to Think] / trans. By V. Gon­charuk. Moscow: Com­mon place Publ., 2014. 116 pp. (In Russ­ian)
  29. Moro­zov, E. The Net Delu­sion: The Dark Side of Inter­net Free­dom. New York: Pub­lic Affeirs, 2011. 448 pp.
  30. Nel­son, J.L., Lewis, D.A., Lei, R. Dig­i­tal Democ­ra­cy in Amer­i­ca: A Look at Civic Engage­ment in an Inter­net Age, Jour­nal­ism & Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Quar­ter­ly, 2017, vol. 94, iss. 1, pp. 318–334. DOI: 10.1177/1077699016681969.
  31. Pink, D. Free Agent Nation: The Future of Work­ing for Your­self. New York: Warn­er Books, 2002. 284 pp.
  32. Pres­nyako­va, L.A. Povsed­nev­naya mobi­nost v tsifrovom gorode: strate­gii vs tak­ti­ki [Every­day Mobil­i­ty in a Dig­i­tal City: Strate­gies ver­sus Tac­tics], Sot­si­ologiya vlasti, 2015, no. 4, pp. 93–121. (In Russ­ian)
  33. Printsipy rabo­ty algo­rit­mov Google poisk [How Google Search Algo­rithms Work]. Avail­able at: (accessed on Decem­ber 26, 2018). (In Russ­ian)
  34. Rosen­gard, D., Tuck­er-McLaugh­lin, M., Brown, T. Stu­dents and Social News: How Col­lege Stu­dents Share News through Social Media, Elec­tron­ic News, 2014, vol. 8, iss. 2, pp. 120–137. DOI: 10.1177/1931243114546448.
  35. Samostiyenko, E.V. Dig­i­tal Human­i­ties v russkoy­azy­ch­nom kon­tek­ste: trayek­toriya insti­tut­sion­al­izat­sii i mekh­a­nizmy formirovaniya avtonom­nykh zon [Dig­i­tal Human­i­ties in the Russ­ian-speak­ing Con­text: The Tra­jec­to­ry of Insti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion and the For­ma­tion of Autonomous Zones], Vest­nik Vyatsko­go gosu­darstvenno­go uni­ver­site­ta, 2018, no. 4, pp. 37–45. (In Russ­ian)
  36. Sia­pera, E., Boudourides, M., Lenis, S., Suit­er, J. Refugees and Net­work Publics on Twit­ter: Net­worked Fram­ing, Affect, and Cap­ture, Social Media + Soci­ety, 2018, vol 4, iss. 1. Avail­able at: (accessed on Decem­ber 26, 2018).
  37. Sizo­va, I.L., Khusyain­ov, T.M. Uber­izat­siya i formirovaniye setevoy struk­tu­ry zany­atosti [Ubieri­sa­tion and the For­ma­tion of a Net­work Struc­ture of Employ­ment], Izvestiya Tul­sko­go gosu­darstvenno­go uni­ver­site­ta. Guman­i­tarnyye nau­ki, 2018, no. 1, pp. 80–88. (In Russ­ian)
  38. Symons, J., Horner, J. Soft­ware Inten­sive Sci­ence, Phi­los­o­phy and Tech­nol­o­gy, 2014, vol. 27, iss. 3, pp. 461–477. DOI: 10.1007/s13347-014‑0163-x.
  39. Thomp­son, E.M. What Makes a City ‘Smart’? Inter­na­tion­al Jour­nal of Archi­tec­tur­al Com­put­ing, 2016, vol. 14, iss. 4, pp. 358–371. DOI: 10.1177/1478077116670744.
  40. Voyskuyeskiy, A.Ye., Yev­doki­menko, A.S., Fedun­i­na, N.Yu. Sete­vaya i real­naya iden­tich­nost: sravnite’noye issle­dovaniye [Net­work and Real Iden­ti­ty: a Com­par­a­tive Study], Psikhologiya. Zhur­nal Vysshey Shkoly Ekonomi­ki, 2013, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 92–121. (In Russ­ian)
  41. Well­man, B. Study­ing the Inter­net through the Ages, in: Con­sal­vo M., Ess C. (eds), The Hand­book of Inter­net Stud­ies. Oxford: Wiley-Black­well, 2011, pp. 17–23.
  42. Wil­son, R.E., Gosling, S.D., Gra­ham, L.T. A Review of Face­book Research in the Social Sci­ences, Per­spec­tives on Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence, 2012, vol. 7, iss. 3, pp. 203–220. DOI: 10.1177/1745691612442904.
  43. Zavyalo­va, Z.S. Rolevye igry v inter­ak­tivnom chate (russkoy­azy­ch­nyj diskurs) [IRC Role-play­ing in Russ­ian], Guman­i­tar­naya infor­mati­ka, 2013, iss. 7, pp. 79–92. (In Russ­ian)
  44. Zhang, X., Ha, L. Time Bud­get, News Search Time Cost, and News Media Choice, Time & Soci­ety, 2015, vol. 24, iss. 2, pp. 201–220. DOI: 10.1177/0961463X15579579.
  45. Zook, M. Crowd-sourc­ing the Smart City: Using Big Geoso­cial Media Met­rics in Urban Gov­er­nance, Big Data & Soci­ety, 2018, vol. 4, iss. 1. Avail­able at: (accessed on Decem­ber 26, 2018).

Comments are closed.