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Moderated Online Communities and User-Generated Content

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    Abstract

    Online communities provide a social sphere for people to share information and knowledge. While information sharing is becoming a ubiquitous online phenomenon, how to ensure information quality or induce quality content, however, remains a challenge due to the anonymity of commentators. This paper introduces moderation into reputation systems. We show that moderation directly impacts strategic commentators incentive to generate useful information, and moderation is generally desirable to improve information quality. Interestingly, we find that when being moderated with different probabilities based on their reputations, commentators may display a pattern of reputation oscillation, in which they generate useful content to build up high reputation and then exploit their reputation. As a result, the expected performance from high-reputation commentators can be inferior to that from low-reputation ones (reversed reputation). We then investigate the optimal moderation resource allocation, and conclude that the seemingly abnormal reversed reputation could arise as an optimal result. The paper concludes with a discussion of the development of a scientific moderation system with application to academic publishing.

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    File URL: http://www.netinst.org/Chen_Xu_Whinston_09-11.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 09-11.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0911

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    Web page: http://www.NETinst.org/

    Related research

    Keywords: moderation; reputation; online community; knowledge management;

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    1. Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 1695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Dina Mayzlin, 2006. "Promotional Chat on the Internet," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(2), pages 155-163, 03-04.
    3. Martin W. Cripps & George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2004. "Imperfect Monitoring and Impermanent Reputations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 407-432, 03.
    4. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
    5. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
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