Reputation apps for people

I’m very interested in how reputation systems could be used to develop decentralised (ie non-curated) applications. For example reputation systems are crucial to many commercial services such as Amazon, eBay, Uber, AirBNB and so on, and anywhere that people want to interact with others, but might need to risk something (money, an asset etc.).

We all know how the above services work, and they work quite well, but the services themselves provide an incentive to behave, and once you have built a reputation, this is re-enforced to avoid losing something that has been costly to acquire and has value to you, and which you’ve invested something of yourself.

Now here’s something a bit different. An app (called Peeple, see their Facebook page) that appears to be just a people reputation app and nothing else:

I’m curious about this app, who’s built it and what for, and why people are joining it.

I’m also interested in how to operate a reputation system without human overlords, and indeed a decentralised service such as AirBnB which though it runs well does still need quality human intervention that at present is provided by a company motivated by profit. How might we replace that part to build a decentralised AifBnB I wonder - I have some vague thoughts but have not thought them through. I am pretty certain its a hard problem, but if anyone thinks otherwise… :smile:

hmmm - heard of it today too

…never seen such a bad WOT-rating :smiley:
and i don’t really see why it should be worth 7.6 million USD Oo …


This is like China’s social capital (could there be a more stupid concept) rating that they want following everyone around in the AR based really on how much of a threat they are to the state.

There was a program called mind of man that didn’t catch on that would show people the back side in an aggregate way of their social media profile in different systems. It was a composite of what other people thought about them or really thought about them. It was a popularity scale and would show the Johari’s window component that was is blind for people or a bit of it.

But over all this is an incredibly bad and even violent idea. Its a measurement regime, always a psychologically violent thing, that will attempt to impose outside generated or manipulated self definition in ways that will always be perverse and amount to blackmail. They want to curate your reputation.
But you can’t appeal it, and they shouldn’t have your data. Its the kind of backwards supplier first system that the US credit reporting system was. Its fine to rate institutions but this will never be more than a privacy violation and gossip defamation/liable.

In 2000 or so there was a site which worked the same way.
They used to spamvertise by sending emails in which they’d “give you a chance to see what others are saying about you.”

I think it never too off but maybe it’s still around (more likely not, because legal risks of running such a site are significant).

There’s zero value in it if anonymous people are providing “helpful comments” and if they are not anonymous, then they can and will be sued ( together with the site/app owner).

There is no incentive for average “reviewer” to provide a good rating for another person and nanny state laws make telling the truth illegal, so I bet this app won’t succeed. Personally I have 0 interest in it.

The only decentralized ratings that I care about are reviews from people who traded (and there is a proof, for example blockchain transaction) with another and share info about their transaction. If there are enough transaction that are real and many reviews are good, the owner of the address may indeed have good reputation. Such systems can work well because they are not free. Most of the rest is useless.

The only rating system that I would put my trust in would be one that measured cold, hard facts. Anything else is just opinion.

That being said, opinions do matter. When I look at something on Amazon, I always check out the customer review section. Why, because it really is useful.

Now whether people are being truthful or not is impossible to tell. Motivations are not easy to find out, and spamming is certainly inevitable.

One metric that I use is critical mass. How many reviews of a product/service would I require in order to satisfactorily conclude that the product/service’s value is more or less accurately reflected in the reviews.

With the concept of rating people, all these considerations are amplified as there are too many factors in play to accurately represent one individual entity.

I do not believe that this will succeed, nor any such service.

There’s been a growing number of fake reviews on Amazon starting this year. Few months back (July) I simply couldn’t decide what to buy because even the crappiest non-brand name products in the category I was interested in had 4+ stars. It was completely meaningless. And I’m not talking about 3 reviews (two company owners and their friend reviewing the company’s product) - I’m talking about 20 or 50 reviews for a no-name USB cable type of stuff.

But it’s much easier for Amazon to run a reviews site because they know who the reviewers are (and those who bought the stuff from Amazon are marked as certified purchasers, which helps). But even their system is being gamed, so one can only imagine how difficult it is to design a system that works with anonymous users.

Some good reputation apps will be built on (or checkpointed to) the bitcoin blockchain and bitcoin addresses - because they prove address ownership and have reviewable transaction history - are probably going to be used for non-anonymous proof of reputation. But there may be external systems that just save checkpoints to the bitcoin and those could be more suitable for both anonymous and ID-eable reputations, depending on goal.

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I remember @dirvine, in his interview on the Keiser Report, being asked a question about doing away with blockchains, or what would be the role of blockchains…something like that. A reputation system might be one of them. I’ll have to mull it over.

To clarify a bit, are you saying (with financial transactions) that a transaction has to be proven via the blockchain that the reviewer did purchase that product, and because of that are entitled to submit a review? That would make a lot of sense.

Also, how might an anonymous proof of transaction work? (Big question, I know. I’m just trying to get a baseline reading here.) Could you elaborate on what you are referring to when you mention “save checkpoints to the bitcoin”?

I really like the concept of a reputation system. It forces people to actually care about their behavior. Right now there is no incentive not to litter. No incentive to treat service personnel with dignity. No incentive to do good things, to volunteer your time for worthy causes, to study anything not immediately monetizable, to donate money or time to people trying to improve the world. (Outside of some tax benefits in the US, but as far as I know not that widely adopted anywhere else and even in the US next to pointless for someone not making a whole bunch of money. It’s also highly discriminatory against organizations that haven’t specifically applied for a charity designation in the country of the donor but are still doing good in the world.)

I’m a big fan of open book profiles on everything people do in public as well as publicly shared surveillance camera data to prove said profiles and guard against people adding black marks out of spite. What I’d really like is for everyone to be recording everything they see and hear at all times. That way there would always be reliable eye-witness testimony available. This kind of data wouldn’t be published by default, but rather would be used to either substantiate claims made against (or for) someone as well as defend against bad marks/prosecution. What people do in their own homes I wouldn’t want published unless the individuals in question so desire. We can’t stop surveillance, sooner or later someone’s gonna deploy the tech required to monitor everyone and when that happens we have two choices: Either only the rich/elite get their hands on that data… Or everyone gets their hands on that data. I know which of those choices I’d prefer.

That isn’t to say I think people shouldn’t be able to post anonymously or under a pseudonym online. I think the only time people are truly free to say what they really think is when their real identities aren’t tied to what they’re saying and thus aren’t open to punishment by the establishment or mob justice.

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Because streets are “public”, and accordingly poorly managed.
On private property, one (simple and easy) way to prevent littering is to post a NO TRESPASSING sign and deal with those who do trespass.
A little more creative way is to have profit-making use of space and ensure that those who litter are fined as the owner sees fit.

Partially because companies aren’t allowed to discriminate against bad customers.

If you look up on the blockchain the addresses of the seller and buyer, and see there are transactions, even if there are no 3rd party (multisig) partners who might have escrowed the transaction for them, it’s likely party A did buy that product from party B. (Of course maybe they bought some other stuff, which is where you want a 3rd party (escrow or intermediary or witness) or maybe scan the receipt / package and again broadcast the checksum on the blockchain as your notarized evidence from the time, etc.).
You could allow anyone to submit a review (you certainly can’t prevent them, on a decentralized platform), but you could also filter (display) only those whose addresses had transactions with the seller’s address.

Meaning if I’m some escrow/shipping guy and all I do is move products between sellers and buyers in New York, at the end of every day I can take a photo of all my receipts (probably I can put them all on table and take a high resolution photo), then make a checksum of the PNG file, and broadcast that checksum on the bitcoin blockchain. I also keep the PNG file (20151002.png). I could do this using a more sophisticated way, but let’s not complicate things.
Now at any point in the future you can ask for a proof that I delivered some pizza from A to B on Oct 2, 2015, and I can give you this file and on the blockchain you can see that this very same file was created on that day. If you also have a blockchain transaction between A and B on that day, then that’s a pretty solid proof that B bought a pizza from A on that day.
This process can be made even more reliable and easier to use, but you get the idea.

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My mind turns to a proof of fulfilled contracts if you’re talking non-human based reputation. But then you have to know what the contract is or at least the scope of the transaction because it would be easy to create a billion contracts and fulfill them all to game the system. (ie You would need to be able to prove that the contract was between real parties.)

Now I’ve thought through human reputation systems myself and always seem to come to the same issue of transparency of the reputation giver. I want to see how people “like me” rate something/someone. I care less about the opinions of those less like me because of relevance.

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On SAFE, yes.
On Bitcoin, 100K made up transactions would cost you $2,500 (at least, but probably more).
Because Bitcoin is one of more expensive networks, it’s less likely to be gamed by made up transactions (although that is still possible).

  • On Bitcoin, it would be possible to see if the amounts correspond to the good or service that was sold. If you make up a bunch of BTC 0.0001 transactions and claim those are purchases of organic jam from some guy, that won’t work.
  • Scanned proofs of shipment (similar to described above) also help

I agree.
In the pseudoanonymous world of bitcoin, the same address may be a seller in other transactions (and have a seller reputation) and may have a social reputation if the owner proved his ownership of the address by signing messages that link it to his social identity (such as a forum name). And in trades where he participated as buyer rating can go two-way - the seller can also rate the buyer (timely payment, easy to deal with, etc.).

Without proof of unique human it becomes harder to trust the reviews of organizations. There is that factor tree method referenced in another thread that might be able to provide something like proof of unique human statistically through a provided web of relations. But simply verifying purchase won’t work because competitors will have shill reviewers who buy the products to trash the review.

A rating for a name or pseudo-anonymous ID seems less egregious as it could be a person or an organization behind the ID. Something similar to the ambiguity hiding behind the collective action of an organization provides is provided by the pseudo-anonymous ID.

But indivdual human ratings systems are about the worst violation of privacy imaginable. @Onaka I don’t mind nudest colonies but this idea that people would judge people by these little merit badges or spam that sticks to you and we would encourage such a cursory book-by-its-cover rating system is horrifying. Some of us have been through that kind of crap, its called a uniform and its got color coded garbage all over the front of it to list the atrocities or glories you have participated in. You really want a reveille boot camp world where some punk cop will have you and your family out on a line every morning trying to check your uniformity claiming its a crime for you to be without your ID because it might inconvenience some cops or could represent a threat to useless unnecessary elites. They make those uniforms complicated and maintenance intensive so they can hammer down a nail before its fully sticking out. What you’re wanting is their wet dream. But notice one thing, they will be above IDs, it will be some special BS forbidden jewelry that shows they’ve earned their privacy but all the born criminals (entire population) are a threat and have no right to privacy.

This is privacy becoming a privilege, which is ridiculous. It is not a foregone conclusion that people will be recorded everywhere and on everything they are doing. Nor is it foregone that such footage would be admissible for judicial proceedings etc. Some US states have two party consent rules. Britain is a failed state both in its economic policies but politically in its hyper spying on its own population but not on its secret mongering government. Does it for instance spy on its idiotic royals

that’s not even pocket change in silicon valley terms for a tech startup…they have well off and generous (and misguided) friends/families who can hopefully afford to lose their investment.

The cofounder, I found her twitter account. she started out to promote this app and then quickly turned defensive when called to account for incorporating in a jurisdiction (Seychelles) that frowns on “frivolous” lawsuits. I’d like to ask her, “Isn’t that hypocritcal, considering you’re establishing a company based on public denunciation?” (I’ve already asked what constitutes a “silly lawsuit” in her estimation. no reply as yet)

It does, however, raise a valid point and concern in this day and age, given the amount of attention this has garnered in such a short amount of time; Sadly, it is also a comment on the times we live in.

Like I said, with bitcoin it gets expensive.
If your address has just one transaction (the review), it’s probably a shill review…
If it contains a ton of bogus “transactions”, it can be fairly easily discovered with existing scripts that look for relationships between addresses.
Yes, you can beat this by creating a ton of very complex bogus transactions. But unlike making bullshit reviews on, it’s going to cost you.

That’s nonsense (or your definition of privacy is strange). No one is asking you to be reviewed. If you want you’re welcome to use disposable addresses. No one would care.

Seems to me that a good escrow system is going to beat a reputation system hands down.

Even the credit reporting agencies are gamed… If you look at the stuff that happens on BTC-jam you can see that without proof of unique human every reputation is a pump and dump.

Proving the unique human would nearly certainly interferes with anonymity.

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It seems there’s a lot of obsession with “the unique human” here… With PoW coins it’s not a huge mystery.

And how does it interfere with anonymity? If someone asks you to broadcast your Bitmessage address to have a chat with you, and you broadcast your Bitmessage address on the blockchain using Tor, your exposure isn’t any bigger than normally when you use bitcoin.

@Onaka seemed to be wishing for something more comprehensive.

“Full service”, so to speak :wink:
Unfortunately at this time you can’t be 007 without being inconvenienced a litte.


Reputation is identity. Eventually it could be correlated to an individual.

Most transactions are pretty hard to isolate from an physical identity. If I am buying something digital, then the reputation can remain separate, but If I am having something shipped to me, or I am spending the night at a BNB, those will link right up.

Whereas with an escrow system, there is no link from one transaction to another. If the good or service is delivered the payment goes through -i if not , not. Next transaction doesn’t need to know anything about the previous.

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You can have multiple addresses from which you operate, and each can have a different reputation (and each reputation may have a different value, which is possible because you may be doing different things and be better at some, not as good with others).

We also had discussions about this (one wallet, multiple addresses, etc.) on this forum and I don’t remember anyone finding the approach problematic - in fact most people wanted to be able to have multiple identities.