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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jianqing Chen & Hong Xu & Andrew B. Whinston, 2009. "Moderated Online Communities and User-Generated Content," Working Papers 09-11, NET Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0911
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    File URL: http://www.netinst.org/Chen_Xu_Whinston_09-11.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    2. Martin W. Cripps & George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2004. "Imperfect Monitoring and Impermanent Reputations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 407-432, March.
    3. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
    4. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
    5. William H. DeLone & Ephraim R. McLean, 1992. "Information Systems Success: The Quest for the Dependent Variable," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 3(1), pages 60-95, March.
    6. Dina Mayzlin, 2006. "Promotional Chat on the Internet," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(2), pages 155-163, 03-04.
    7. Chrysanthos Dellarocas, 2005. "Reputation Mechanism Design in Online Trading Environments with Pure Moral Hazard," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 16(2), pages 209-230, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    moderation; reputation; online community; knowledge management;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment

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