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It’s been since mid-1990 because of the growing popularity of personal computers
Computer Mediated Communication is a process of human communication via computers, involving people, situated in particular contexts, engaging in processes to shape media for a variety of purposes (John December, 1997).
Two people have a date. The following day, they have an email conversation, and in one of the messages the woman (whose identity has been protected) refers to the previous evening’s romantic activities in subtle but evidently sexual terms. The man, a lawyer called Bradley Chait, forwards her email to four of his colleagues at the London law firm Norton Rose. The colleagues, in turn, forward the email on again. Hours after Chait forwarded the message, it had spread from Norton Rose to other London law firms, then made its way round the world, travelling as far as New Zealand. Some days later, at least two websites had developed about the story, including reader polls, news updates and chat forums. The woman, who understandably thought that her email was for Bradley Chait only, was forced into hiding to avoid harassment from people contacting her after having read the information online. Chait used his office’s network to forward the email, as did his colleagues, who then forwarded it on again. The management of Norton Rose launched an internal disciplinary hearing during which Chait and his colleagues were threatened with dismissal for misusing company time and space, and for implicating the company in a case of sexual harassment.