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What do the founders of online communities owe to their users?

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Author Chua Cathy, Rayner Manny,
Project A Crowdsourcing Platform for Spoken CALL Content
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Title of proceedings Proceedings of the enetCollect WG3/WG5 workshop
Place Leiden, Holland

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


We discuss the organisation of internet communities, focusing on what we call the principle of “bait and switch”: founders of internet communities often find it advantageous to recruit members by promising inducements which are later not honoured. We look at some of the dilemmas and ways of attempting to resolve them through two paradigmatic examples, Wikispaces and Wordpress. Our analysis is to a large extent motivated by the demands of CALLector, a university-centred social network we are in the process of establishing. We consider the question of what ethical standards are imposed on universities engaged in this type of activity.