“What exactly is the definition of ‘human’ in a society where a mind can be copied and the body replaced with a synthetic form?”, “What exactly is the ‘ghost’—the human soul—in the cybernetic body, or ‘shell’?”, and “Where is the boundary between human and machine when the differences between the two become more philosophical than physical?”
A Stand Alone Complex can be compared to emergent copycat behavior … An incident catches the public’s attention and certain types of people “get on the bandwagon”, so to speak. … What separates the Stand Alone Complex from normal copycat behavior is that there is no real originator of the copied action, but merely a rumor or an illusion that supposedly performed the copied action … the facade just has to exist in the minds of the public. In other words, a potential copycat just has to believe the copied behavior happened from an originator – when it really did not.
due to the electronic communications network that is increasingly permeating society, more and more people are being exposed to the same information and stimuli, making the overall psyche and responses of large groups of people increasingly similar; the result is an exponential increase in the potential for copycat behavior that forms a Stand Alone Complex.
Source: Ghost in the Shell Philosophy