Reputation on the dark net

    I know someone who lives in London and gets weed delivered through his letterbox from the dark net with Amazon-like efficiency. So I can entirely believe this write-up:

    The three key traits of trustworthiness—competence, reliability, and honesty—also apply to drug vendors. To highlight reliability, many reviews point out the speed of response and delivery. For example, “I ordered 11.30 a.m. yesterday and my package was in my mailbox in literally twenty-five hours. I’ll definitely be back for more in the future,” commented a buyer on Silk Road 2.0. One of the ways skills and knowledge are reviewed is how good a vendor’s “stealth” is, that is, how cleverly they disguise their product so that it doesn’t get detected. “Stealth was so good it almost fooled me,” wrote a satisfied buyer on an MDMA listing on the AlphaBay market. Established vendors are very good at making it look (and smell) like any old regular package. Excessive tape or postage, reused boxes, presence of odor, crappy handwritten addresses, use of a common receiver alias such as “John Smith” and even spelling errors are bad stealth.
    Source: Nautilus

    Problems with reputation in the gig economy

    The solution to the problems we see with platform capitalism is, of course, platform co-operativism, also known as allowing these workers to own the businesses for which they work.

    Many of these platforms don’t let workers have any control over their reputations. I don’t want to sugarcoat the problems of reputation for workers with traditional jobs, but in some ways reputation is much more punishing for platform workers. There have been many stories about Airbnb, Uber, and others removing workers from their platforms, with little to no notice or ability to correct problems. In fact, Uber drivers are required to maintain a certain rating in order to stay on the platform—a fact that few passengers know. Workers in most cases lack the ability to challenge the stain on their reputations, and sometimes they don’t even know why their reputations might have suffered. Platforms are highly dependent on customer ratings for policing the quality of their workforce, but they haven’t figured out how to correct for those same customers’ race and gender bias. It can feel to the worker like it’s “one strike and you’re out”—and that arbitrariness just adds to the instability of gig-work. In addition, reputation isn’t portable. If Uber drivers want to change platforms and start delivering packages for Instacart, they have to start from scratch to build up a good reputation on the new site—even though they are using skills that are valuable to both sites.

    Source: WIRED