I’ve recently finished reading Freedom, the sequel to Daemon by Daniel Suarez. I made a longer post which I have yet to clean up and release, but wanted to throw out this idea. (I highly recommend the books!)
I just read a post on isc.sans.org about an SEO poisoning attack. This reminds me of all the efforts to legitimize malicious accounts, sites, and activities. For instance, want to avoid the malware-radars on Twitter? Make a ton of accounts, follow each other, and get a few dozen or hundred randomly posted tweets. You’ll blend right in!
(Tiny, TINY spoiler here for Daemon, but not for Freedom. I’m really not giving anything away that will spoil the plot.)
In Daemon/Freedom, the daemon creates this new system which is based in part on reputation. As users in the daemon’s system, you can vote up or vote down other users based on your interactions with them.
This still suffers from problems of gaming the system, just like we see malware attempting to do today. You get enough “people” going, and you can inflate your scores. Likewise, this breaks down when you don’t have people voting based only on rational reasons and instead vote on popularity or for irrational reasons. Ashton Kutcher was the first person to 1 million followers on Twitter. Would it be appropriate for him to be the most powerful user in any legitimate system that has real world ramifications? Probably not.