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With the emergence of computer-mediated information processing and communication, strong prophecies have been voiced about their implications for individual, institutional, legal, economic, and cultural effects. Wild information based utopias, in which no one has to travel to work, are pitted against nightmares of corporate-controlled electronic surveillance and wholesale extermination of privacy. The extremes may be just that-possibilities but not probabilities given the forces in society.

This chapter reviews the effects of computer-mediated communication and a few areas of particular interest to information scientist, communication researchers, and policy makers -- i.e., information exchange and communication as mediated by organizational information and word-processing systems and computer conferencing. Empirical research may influence the likelihood of some of the prophecies about the effects of computer mediated communication and may indicate how easily varies technologies can be redirected to fit chosen, informed policies during these times of technological and institutional change.

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