Trusting in others’ biases: Fostering guarded trust in collaborative filtering and recommender systems

Knowledge, Technology & Policy 17 (3-4):106-123 (2004)
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Collaborative filtering is being used within organizations and in community contexts for knowledge management and decision support as well as the facilitation of interactions among individuals. This article analyzes rhetorical and technical efforts to establish trust in the constructions of individual opinions, reputations, and tastes provided by these systems. These initiatives have some important parallels with early efforts to support quantitative opinion polling and construct the notion of “public opinion.” The article explores specific ways to increase trust in these systems, albeit a “guarded trust” in which individuals actively seek information about system foibles and analyze the reputations of participants.
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