Pirates, sharks and moral crusaders: Social control in peer-to-peer networks (19 Jul 2004)
The last research question concerned the effectiveness of (attempts to impose) social sanctions: Do users care what other people think of them and do they change their behaviour as a result of comments by others? Here the findings in the open and the closed network clearly differed.
When this question was discussed with several users of the closed network, it was found that few were willing to defy the direct social pressure in the organization. One reason for this was that anonymity was limited and sanctions could consequently be direct. Users had to be very brave or very foolish to ignore serious warnings from their peers. In fact one respondent reported an incident in which a user had discovered child pornography on the network. This incident was dealt with through collective action by a number of users and system administrators who found out the owner of the computer and posted his identity on the mailing list. After this incident child pornography was no longer encountered.
Article URL: http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue9_6/svensson/index.html
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