Social Cooling is Tijmen Schep’s term to describe the chilling effect of the reputation/surveillance economy on expression and exploration of ideas:

Social Cooling describes the long-term negative side effects of living in a reputation economy:

  1. A culture of conformity. Have you ever hesitated to click on a link because you thought your visit might be logged, and it could look bad?…

  2. A culture of risk-aversion.…Rating systems can create unwanted incentives, and increase pressure to conform a bureaucratic average.

  3. Increased social rigidity. Digital reputation systems are limiting our ability and our will to protest injustice.

Schep suggests that all of this raises three big questions—philosophical, economic, and cultural:

  1. Are we becoming more well behaved, but less human?
  2. Are we undermining our creative economy?
  3. Will this impact our ability to evolve as a society?

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