Digital cultures, and their associated communities, need whistleblowers. Admittedly, their engagement with issues are contested: such is the nature of their challenges and interventions. But healthy communities need to nurture their place within the constructions and sustainings of settings and interactions. In the days of Edward Snowden, the whistleblower is not dead, but perhaps in need of enhanced legal protection, in light of changes in technology and communications. As the Wikipedia article, hyperlinked in the previous sentence, makes clear via the so-called ‘Snowden Effect’, the wider ecology of free-speech, community cultures and accountability depend in complex and indeterminate ways on the ability of whistleblowers to hold people and institutions to public account.
Education, with its right emphasis on protecting and nurturing learners within robust ethical frameworks, for robust ethical life, is implicated in this need.
Here is another pointer to where fast-moving and developing digital cultures need nuanced and imaginative legislative framing, as part of an overall health for both communities and individuals, systems and societies.