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Social ramifications of RDF

From: wingnut <wingnut@winternet.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 11:52:02 -0500
Message-ID: <39AE8D32.AA384F18@winternet.com>
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Hello! Folks call me Wingnut, and I enjoy pondering and discussing the
social side of RDF, and I'd like to invite discussions on it. Recently,
I've been thinking about how RDF will enable folks to find both "attaboys"
and "nastygrams" about a product, company, or even a human
(net-reputation). The 'about = whatever' and other inferables will bring
back search results concerning ALL data of a searched-for subject, good,
bad, and otherwise. I wonder if we'll see companies offering money to
consumers who have posted personal web pages that damage a product's or
company's reputation... in order to get that dis-satisfied
consumer/former-employee to remove the web page. Another  example might be
where I perform a personal study of the quality of the components in my new
telephone answering machine, and post the results to the web. The company
might not have wanted to allow such information into the public eye, and
might file lawsuits claiming that I am revealing "trade secrets". They
might offer me money to remove the document too. If I have purchased the
answering machine, do I have the right to scrutinize its construction
techniques and publicly release my results? Last I heard, all a document
needs in order to avoid slander charges for its author... is the words "in
my opinion". All in all, as in-the-store/pre-buy internet product
scrutinization research abilities improve, and as RDF power-search happens,
all sorts of documents will show-up in the consumer's hands... both from
the company who makes the product, and from other sources. In a way, it
will be the general public writing articles in a giant consumer reports
magazine. :)

I invite everyone to read my weird RDF document...

http://www.winternet.com/~wingnut/html/rdf_ethics1.htm

...and feel free to comment. I apologize to those who feel that this
maillist should concentrate exclusively upon the technical issues of RDF.
There just aren't that many people who even understand the power of meta
data... much less can ponder its social impact. Thanks!

Larry "Wingnut" Wendlandt
Minneapolis
Received on Thursday, 31 August 2000 12:50:07 GMT

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