Ratings Now Cut Both Ways, So Don’t Sass Your Uber Driver

David Streitfeld of the New York Times explores the idea and practice of a consumer score, the phenomenon where not only are products and hotels and drivers rated, but customers are rated as well. Streitfeld breaks down a new academic paper that examines online reputation. He also discusses how businesses are implementing consumer scores and what dangers they might represent.

“Highly specific pools of reputation information will become more useful in aggregate,” said Mr. Fertik, co-author with David C. Thompson of “The Reputation Economy,” a guide to optimizing digital footprints. “If you’re a really good Uber passenger, that may be useful information for Amtrak or American Airlines. But if you add in your reputation from Airbnb plus OpenTable plus eBay, it starts to get useful globally.” He added: “It’s inevitable that these review systems are coming. What I’m worried about is whether they’re accurate enough. Otherwise, we’re going to get a disinformation economy.” Will a review system know that someone gets out to the cab a little late because of mobility issues, instead of discourtesy?

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