In social networks the default assumption is good behaviour

By July 12, 2010 12 Comments

Clay Shirky has an article in Wired at the moment (on the iPad version and not the web version, as far as I can tell) in which he makes the following statment:

In social media the design case that has worked remarkably well is to treat good faith as the normal case

I like that a lot.  Regular readers will know that I’m hopeful that social media will be a force for good in society, helping people form more and better relationships and increasing the importance of integrity in both social life and business.  Shirky’s observation provides a partial explanation as to why – if the default assumption is honesty, people and companies who don’t don’t play fair will find that social media doesn’t work for them.

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