Information Society Series Book: The Reputation Society

I’m very pleased to announce that the third book in the MIT Press “Information Society Series” I am co-editing with Laura DeNardis has been released:

Reputation SocietyThe Reputation Society: How Online Opinions Are Reshaping the Offline World
Edited by Hassan Masum and Mark Tovey
Foreword by Craig Newmark

In making decisions, we often seek advice. Online, we check Amazon recommendations, eBay vendors’ histories, TripAdvisor ratings, and even our elected representatives’ voting records. These online reputation systems serve as filters for information overload. In this book, experts discuss the benefits and risks of such online tools.

The contributors offer expert perspectives that range from philanthropy and open access to science and law, addressing reputation systems in theory and practice. Properly designed reputation systems, they argue, have the potential to create a “reputation society,” reshaping society for the better by promoting accountability through the mediated judgments of billions of people. Effective design can also steer systems away from the pitfalls of online opinion sharing by motivating truth-telling, protecting personal privacy, and discouraging digital vigilantism.

About the Editors

Hassan Masum is a policy and technology strategist and Affiliate Researcher at the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation at the University of Waterloo.

Mark Tovey is an Affiliate Researcher at the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation at the University of Waterloo. He is the editor of Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace.

This book was inspired by the “Symposium on Reputation Economies in Cyberspace” I helped organize at the Yale Information Society Project in 2007, and I’m excited to see the results of that event finally get published.

I’m also happy to note that I co-authored one the chapters in the volume with Anthony Hoffmann, a PhD student at UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies. Our contribution is titled, “Privacy, Context, and Oversharing: Reputational Challenges in a Web 2.0 World“:

When personal information is shared online, it may spread farther and faster than expected or inappropriately push intimate details to near-strangers. Zimmer and Hoffmann address the twin risks of information spreading beyond its intended context and the oversharing of personal information.

You can purchase the book at Amazon, etc. Enjoy!

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