Crowdsourcing

Write a “short” blog post discussing the benefits and drawbacks of developing a crowdsourced project.

A benefit to crowdsourcing projects is that they allow massive projects that would otherwise take a small group of people thousands of hours to complete or that otherwise would be impossible, to be accomplished by hundreds to thousands of individuals who all participate in collecting and/or transcribing information in a comparably much shorter time. Additionally, crowdsourcing on websites will increase with direct respect to the demand of the website’s information. Information is updated in real time which will help to ensure that the website remains relevant. Information may also come from a variety of sources which helps the website to become diverse and promote a connection to the community.

There are a wide array of drawbacks in relying on crowdsourcing to promote progress in mass projects. I will speak to three main underlying problems of crowdsourcing. First, the information supplied by the public may not be entirely accurate or, for that matter, may be completely inaccurate. Secondly, it is difficult to review the mass amounts of information supplied via crowdsourcing. Thirdly, there are no repercussions for sabotage on sites using crowdsourcing (e.g. a punishment for those who are not acting to promote progress in the site), therefore there is no way to inhibit the propagation of misinformation in society that is promoted from crowdsourcing sabatorors.  Ultimately, all three of these drawbacks lead to one simple but overwhelming problem: is crowdsourcing information accurate, and if it is not, how do we sift out the information that is blatantly false.   

 

Charles Feinberg

Michael Hoffman

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