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News | 09/18/2002 4:00 am EDT

September 11/2001 and the web
A newly released study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds significant differences in the way Americans use and think about the Internet today than before the September 11 terrorist attacks. It finds that Americans favour more restricted disclosure of government information, a large group of people who believe the government should be able to monitor email and online activities, that the attacks led to a new rise in do-it-yourself journalism and that the web has served as a public commons for discussion about and dealing with the tragic event.
In one group of interesting findings, the Pew researchers found that use of the web for some activities has increased as a direct result of the events. For example, 33% of Internet users say they have sent an email rather than a letter or card since the attacks, and 5% of users say they’ve done so partially because of the attacks and subsequent anthrax scare. Further, 20% of Internet users say they’ve shopped online since the attack, and 2% say it’s related to September 11. Seven per cent say they’ve worked from home rather than going to the office, and 2% say it’s attack- and anthrax-related. Four per cent of Internet users have participated in a video conference rather than travel to a meeting, with 2% of Internet users saying it’s related to the tragedy.
Full details are available in Pew’s comprehensive report, One year later: September 11 and the Intenet, at http://www.pewinternet.org.

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