The role of reputation systems in digital discrimination

Een groepje mensen met een smartphone in de hand ©

Also in the platform economy, ethnic discrimination occurs. Online reviews, which allow minorities to build a reputation, do not appear to be the solution. In their article in Socio-Economic Review Judith Kas, together with Dr Rense Corten and Prof. Arnout van de Rijt, explains why this problem is not so easily solved. 

Reputation systems are commonplace in online markets, such as on peer-to-peer sharing platforms. These systems have been argued to be a solution to (ethnic) discrimination on such platforms, based on empirical studies showing that ethnic disadvantages are smaller for users with ratings than for users without ratings.

This conclusion may be premature, because minorities have a harder time accumulating ratings. Platforms that wish to reduce discrimination should not only make their reputation system more effective, but also help users collect ratings.

In their article Kas, Corten and Van de Rijt share important knowledge in the light of efforts to mitigate discrimination in the rapidly growing platform economy.

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