Researchers from Sweden's Lund University are trying to find out what role the internet plays in how Swedish teens develop their values and morals.
In an interview with newspaper TheLocal, Måns Svensson from the university's department of sociology of law discussed the impact of sites such as Myspace and the notorious torrent site ThePirateBay, saying, "We have a theory that there are processes for building norms on the internet which look different than those which take place in traditional society and that they are moving in a different direction than where the majority of society and legislation are headed."
"This can be a problem for the law when you have a young, growing generation which creates its morals and norms through contact with these types of activities on the internet and a set of laws which doesn't really comprehend what's new and which risks heading off course in its attempt to regulate them" he continued.
The research project, which will see researchers conducting in-depth interviews with ninth graders over the course of four years, will address young people's attitudes towards file-sharing, online gambling and putting pictures on the web and how the internet affects how young people develop their views on ownership rights, privacy, and the handling of money.
Aside from Myspace and ThePirateBay, the team from Lund have contacted the Swedish Poker Association and telecoms giant Ericsson and if successful, may have a massive effect in future legislation around the world.