NAVIGATING BETWEEN CHAOS AND BUREAUCRACY: BACKGROUNDING TRUST IN OPEN-CONTENT COMMUNITIES

In Karl Aberer, Andreas Flache, Wander Jager, Ling Liu, Jie Tang & Christophe Guéret (eds.), 4th International Conference, SocInfo 2012, Lausanne, Switzerland, December 5-7, 2012. Proceedings. Springer (2012)
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Abstract
Many virtual communities that rely on user-generated content (such as social news sites, citizen journals, and encyclopedias in particular) offer unrestricted and immediate ‘write access’ to every contributor. It is argued that these communities do not just assume that the trust granted by that policy is well-placed; they have developed extensive mechanisms that underpin the trust involved (‘backgrounding’). These target contributors (stipulating legal terms of use and developing etiquette, both underscored by sanctions) as well as the contents contributed by them (patrolling for illegal and/or vandalist content, variously performed by humans and bots; voting schemes). Backgrounding trust is argued to be important since it facilitates the avoidance of bureaucratic measures that may easily cause unrest among community members and chase them away.
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