Reputation on the Internet

Daniel J. Solove of the George Washington University Law School is the author of The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet, the full text of which is available online. The 205-page book was published in October 2007 by Yale University Press.

Solove likens the present state of the Internet to a teenager: "brash, uninhibited, unruly, fearless, experimental, and often not mindful of the consequences of its behavior. And as with a teenager, the Net's greater freedom can be both a blessing and a curse."

In the concluding chapter, "The Future of Reputation," he writes:
Will people be blogging and using social network websites a decade from now? Who knows? . . . The technologies may change, but human nature will remain the same.

Although the Internet poses new and difficult issues, they are variations on some timeless problems: the tension between privacy and free speech, the nature of privacy, the virtues and vices of gossip and shaming, the effect of new technologies on the spread of information, and the ways in which law, technology, and norms interact. New technologies do not just enhance freedom but also alter the matrix of freedom and control in new and challenging ways.
The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet (Yale University Press, October 2007)

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