Wisdom of the Crowds Isn'T the Answer for Everything

Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins, Mashable, Sept 16, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The problem of lies (much less spam) being propagated using the internet has been brought into sharp focus by Tim Berners-Lee's comment that the web needs a rating system. This article is a good discussion of the problem. "Within the Digg and YouTube communities exist sub-communities that make clear an honest debate even harder. There's the long fabled 'bury brigades' on Digg that group along ideological lines and will bury anything that contradicts their world-view before it has a chance to be seen by a wider audience." I think that we will see this wherever we have a centralized system, which makes questions of power and control compelling. My own preference is for a distributed system. But that won't solve the problem magically either.
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