What is it about?
Reputational measures are everywhere online: from Facebook 'likes' and share counts, to retweets, 'rep power' discussion forum scores and Amazon seller '% positive' ratings. What are the effects of the constant use of reputation metrics in online platforms? This article explores how constant ranking and rating online can lead to more uncertainty about the 'value' of online reputations, rather than less. Further, the constant call to rank and rate online contributes to the rise of new tactics for tarnishing others' reputations. I term these tactics ‘reputation warfare’ when they operate at large scale (for example, in political campaigns).
Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Reputation has become increasingly visible online – and it is increasingly treated as something that can be straightforwardly measured. Given this, it is important to understand how online reputational measurements can make social values less certain, not more. Gaming online reputational measures is based on the urge to create changeability in the value of online reputation – almost like producing a storm in the ‘reputational weather’ surrounding someone’s online profile.
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This page is a summary of: From Reputation Capital to Reputation Warfare: Online Ratings, Trolling, and the Logic of Volatility, Theory Culture & Society, September 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0263276419872530.
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