Cebrian analyzed his (and other) crowdsourcing contests with the …

Cebrian analyzed his (and other) crowdsourcing contests with the help of Victor Naroditskiy, a game theory expert at the University of Southampton. The results shocked him. “The expected outcome is for everyone to attack, regardless of how difficult an attack is,” says Cebrian. “It is actually rational for the crowd to be malicious, especially in a competition environment. And I can’t think of any engineering or game theoretic or economic incentive to stop it.”

Even worse, their analysis suggests that dissuading attacks, such as by making a crowdsourcing platform more robust or authenticating users, actually makes things worse. “Raising the cost of the attack doesn’t help you because you need to invest resources to do it,” says Cebrian. “And because that investment doesn’t pay off very well, eventually everyone is worse off.” Basically, in a competitive crowdsourcing environment, game theory says you will always get more bang for your buck by attacking rather than defending.

How a lone hacker shredded the myth of crowdsourcing — Backchannel — Medium

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