Regulating Reputational Information Chapter Now Available

By Eric Goldman

I have posted my book chapter, The Regulation of Reputational Information, which I published as part of The Next Digital Decade compilation I’ve previously mentioned. I have another version of this chapter coming out later this year in a book oriented more towards social scientists, The Reputation Society: How Online Opinions are Reshaping the Offline World (MIT Press 2011).

This chapter is the final evolution of an essay I wrote for this conference at George Mason University nearly 2 years ago. The chapter is designed to preview a larger/long-term book project on reputation regulation that I hope to write over the next X years (where X remains to be seen!). So, if you would like a brief introduction into one of my long-term research projects, this chapter is the place to start.

The next iteration in this project is my forthcoming article, “In Defense of 47 USC 230,” where I will explain in more detail 47 USC 230’s salutary role in online reputation systems. I am presenting that talk several times this semester, including at our March 4 47 USC 230 blowout.

I have posted many times about reputation issues on the blog, including several variations of slide decks I’ve used over the years. Start with this post.

The chapter’s abstract:

“This essay considers the role of reputational information in our marketplace. It explains how well-functioning marketplaces depend on the vibrant flow of accurate reputational information, and how misdirected regulation of reputational information could harm marketplace mechanisms. It then explores some challenges created by the existing regulation of reputational information and identifies some regulatory options for the future.”