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Issue No. 019

Vol. 19 - July 2013
Reputation in the Cyberworld
edited by Michael Eldred

What is the reputation of IRIE? How can it be measured? There are, of course, the classical techniques to assess the reputation of a scientific journal: mainly by indices it is listed in, citation indices, the TSI, but also the price tag of an issue and of course the reputation of its authors, editors, etc. They are all widely used in this regard but still, they all stem from the Gutenberg Galaxy, so the question remains: Are they still valid in the cyberworld, valid for a scientific online journal focused on a very special, very innovative area of expertise? Could the indications of reputation in the cyberworld (in fact, they also enjoy a rather classical status by now) be of any help:

  • Ranking in google? In fact, we are # 2 for the keyword ”information ethics” - out of 192,000,000 after all (as of 23rd July 2013) - but still second to Wikipedia. Does this mean the entry on ”infor-mation ethics” in Wikipedia deserves a higher scientific reputation than IRIE?
  • Number of visitors to the web-site? We can proudly state that the counter shows more than 83,000 visits (also as of 23rd July 2013) and still counting. That’s a rather large number for a scholarly journal. Still, there are some web-sites with far more visitors that without any doubt would be assigned a much lower scholarly reputation than IRIE!
  • Number of back-links, comments, tweets, etc.? Do they or a mixture of all of them (by the way the latter would finally lead to the ranking in google again if all these ingredients are put together into a proper formula) correctly reflect the scholarly quality of IRIE in the cyberworld?

Indeed, the question about how to assess the scholarly reputation of an online journal such as IRIE is not yet answered. And precisely that is reason enough for us to raise this very question in an issue of IRIE – of course on a more conceptual level, not necessarily narrowed to the assessment of the reputation of IRIE itself. Thanks to Michael Eldred’s solid work, we received some very illuminating and inspiring contributions on this subject. And yet, only one thing is certain: To the degree this issue contributes to raising if not solving the question of reputation in the cyberworld, it contributes also to the reputation of IRIE in the cyberworld - as well as in the world in general and the scholarly world in particular. So please, see for yourself! There’s good reason that in philosophical discourse this latter is the only thing that counts.

Sincerely yours,

the Editors.


Full Journal
pdf-fulltext (5.088 KB)

Introduction to Reputation in the Cyberworld
by Michael Eldred
Language: English
pdf-fulltext (469 KB)

Reputation in the Cyberworld
by Michael Eldred
Language: English
abstract:   The article explores the socio-ontological foundations of the phenomenon of reputation in the context of today’s ever-encroaching cyberworld. The categories of whoness and value are essential for understanding reputation ontologically. The cyberworld itself has only become historically possible through the Cartesian mathematical cast of being and its digital refinement in the Universal Turing Machine. From one perspective, the cyberworld is an endless concatenation of Turing machines. It is, however, also a matrix in which bit-strings circulate that have a decisive impact on who anybody is held to be by others, i.e. on their repu-tation. The game of striving to be esteemed as who you are thus assumes a new complexion in the digital era.
pdf-fulltext (96 KB)

The Automated Production of Reputation: Musing on bots and the future of reputation in the cyberworld
by Stefano De Paoli
Language: English
abstract:   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.
pdf-fulltext (132 KB)

The Quest for a Clean Slate. Building and Protecting Reputation in the Cyberworld
by Daniel Nagel
Language: English
abstract:    ICT technology has multiplied the possibilities for presenting who one is in the Cyberworld. The means for creating, maintaining but also of losing a good reputation have increased exponentially with an international audience now just a click away. However, these means can also be employed for abusive or, at least, purposes for which they were not intended, with undesired revelations, cyber-bullying and the creation of fake identities potentially ending in cyber-homicide. The Quest for a Clean Slate thus comprises multiple obstacles at various levels much like an adventure video game; no sooner are the obstacles, opponents and traps defeated or overcome and the level accomplished, than the next level begins presenting a whole host of new challenges and threats. The reputation warrior, equipped with a sword entitled "freedom to self-determination" and a humble shield entitled "legal redress", is thus thrown into the ever expanding and changing landscape of swamps and wilderness that is the Cyberworld. This paper attempts to present a sneak preview into the various levels of the Quest for a Clean Slate, the online reputation game, depicting its challenges, pitfalls and the possible means for overcoming these latter.
pdf-fulltext (125 KB)

Ethical considerations on ”refreshing” digitized reputation by changing one’s name
by Anna-Maria Piskopani
Language: English
abstract:   In 2010 Google Chief Executive, Eric Schmidt, predicted that people will eventually be allowed to automat-ically change their names on reaching adulthood to escape their online past. This article attempts to follow up on such an extreme scenario in order to demonstrate the difference between erasing scattered digitized information about people's lives and changing personal names as a method of protecting one's reputation and identity. Such a suggested identity-erasure raises not only considerable legal and ethical considerations but also reveals an emerging stimulating debate on how the law can protect individuals from becoming their worst enemies, ”haunting” them in the form of automated digitized narratives.
pdf-fulltext (142 KB)

An Analytical Note: How the Internet Has Changed Our Personal Reputation
by Bo Zhao
Language: English
abstract:   The internet and other new technologies have changed personal reputation fundamentally, as seen in many similar cases regarding online defamation and privacy invasion. These changes include: a) digital reputation becomes the prevailing form of personal reputation with new characteristics; b) traditional reputational networks have been updated to online networks; c) therefore the ways for individuals to establish, maintain and defend reputations are altered in the new environment; and d) many social functions traditionally played by personal reputation have been challenged by the development of digital reputation. This article tries to provide a brief analysis of such changes and sound the warning bell. We, as citizens of the new Database Nation, have to be fully aware of such changes in order to avoid potential harms while enjoying the benefits of the information age.
pdf-fulltext (140 KB)

Professional Reputation and Identity in the Online World
by Gloria Kirwan and Conor Mc Guckin
Language: English
abstract:   The interface between new entrants to professional disciplines, professional reputation management and social media usage is an under-researched and little understood phenomenon. A small-scale study on social media usage conducted with new social workers and teachers, working in the Irish context, revealed interesting insights into the complexities of reputation management for new professionals and the particular issues related to development of their professional reputations raised by online interactions, relationships and behaviour. Key messages for professionals and professional educators emerge from the findings outlined in this article.

Do online privacy policies and seals affect corporate trustworthiness and reputation?
by Yohko Orito, Kiyoshi Murata and Yasunori Fukuta
Language: English
abstract:   In this study, we attempt to examine the effectiveness of online privacy policies and privacy seals/security icons on corporate trustworthiness and reputation management, and to clarify how young Japanese people evaluate the trustworthiness of B to C e-business sites in terms of personal information handling. The survey results indicate that posting online privacy policies and/or privacy seals/security icons by B to C e-businesses does not work for creating trust in business organisations by consumers actively. Instead, existing good name recognition and/or general reputation can engender trust and, increasingly, better their reputation in terms of personal information use and protection.

On the cyber-reputation of governments
by Ulrik Franke
Language: English
abstract:   Government censorship has a long history, as do attempt to motivate it. This paper offers an analysis of the proposal that states should agree to cooperate ”in curbing the dissemination of information that […] undermines other countries’ political, economic and social stability, as well as their spiritual and cultural environment”. This position was adopted in 2011 by the People’s Republic of China, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in a proposed International code of conduct for information security. The code of conduct can be understood as an attempt to protect the cyber-reputations of states and incumbent governments from the impact of compromising information. The article examines the code of conduct from the perspectives of utilitarianism and moral rights theories. Despite some interesting minor exceptions, it is concluded that neither normative theory can fully endorse the proposed code of conduct.


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