The Automated Production of Reputation: Musing on bots and the future of reputation in the cyberworld


  • Stefano De Paoli



Reputation is considered as the summary of a person's relevant past actions in the context of a specific community and is a concept which has gained huge relevance in the cyberworld as a way of building trust. Increasingly, however, reputation is awarded to users after they have carried out repetitive, mechanical or trivial actions. This opens the space to a phenomenon which we can define as the automated production of reputation: reputation produced by the means of software technologies known as bots that can easily automate repetitive online actions. In this paper the phenomenon of automated production of reputation is preliminarily defined and presented using three different empirical examples: Massively Multiplayer Online Games, the social network twitter and the reputational hub Klout. The paper also discusses some of the foreseeable negative consequences of the automated production of reputation and in particular the risks related to the loss of trust in online communities.




How to Cite

De Paoli, Stefano. 2013. “The Automated Production of Reputation: Musing on Bots and the Future of Reputation in the Cyberworld”. The International Review of Information Ethics 19 (July). Edmonton, Canada:12-21.