[foaf-dev] FOAF-based whitelisting project

Dave Brondsema dave at brondsema.net
Mon Mar 12 19:20:10 UTC 2007

R. Steven Rainwater wrote:
> On Mon, 2007-03-12 at 08:36, elw at stderr.org wrote:
>> A unidimensional trust metric is often not particularly useful.
>> <...>
>> Better would be to define terms that allow you to specify terms
>> and degrees of trust, as relates to particular domains of =

>> discourse or domains of agreement, such that I can trust your
>> opinions or attitudes in domain #1 but choose to think you're
>> full of hoo-ah in domains #2, #3, #4.  I think this is a better
>> fit with FOAF/RDF/SW technologies in general, though it does
>> demand a little more definition of vocabulary terms....
> =

> One thing we learned on Advogato over the years was that a
> unidimensional trust metric is about the most complex thing an average,
> uninterested website user will actually use. When presented with forms
> for inputting lots of different topical trust data about lots of people,
> most users just ignore it and move on to things they find more
> interesting. =

> =

> We also found that negative trust always got abused by people who
> realized it could be used to punish those they didn't like or didn't
> agree with. We never found a way to make a negative trust value useful
> without the false mistrust ratings being harmful. A number of people
> will also abuse positive trust, but the only result to date is a
> relatively harmless problem we call "cert inflation" on Advogato (e.g.
> someone who should probably be rated at apprentice level gets rated at
> master level). =

> =

> I'm not saying it wouldn't be interesting to have lots of complex
> topical trust data, just that you shouldn't expect average website users
> to understand the idea, or be willing to manually input the data. =

We can have an RDF format that allows various topics, and for our
current purposes just use one topic.  The end-user interface could be
exactly the same.

> In any case, with regard to creating a whitelist, the only domain of
> trust I'm interested in is whether or not I can trust that a given email
> address does not belong to a spammer.

Web spam in blog comments & wikis is of high interest to me, and I think
others too.  They can be subsumed under the same topic as email, though.
 Konfidi uses http://www.konfidi.org/ns/topics/0.0#internet-communication

-- =

Dave Brondsema
Software Developer
Cornerstone University

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