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Revision as of 03:41, 9 March 2004 by (talk)
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Repute is value associated with some identity. In general there is no such thing as bad repute, if the identity can be discarded or changed, as it can in almost all brand management or troll situations. If one has a repute one wishes to discard, one simply discards the identity and starts over. In wiki management this is called the right to vanish.

Some think that because negative reputation is so hard to make stick to anyone, and because positive reputation enables so many abuses and is easily distorted or constructed by falsehood, the whole concept of reputation is negative and only enables those capable of promotion regardless of any values. Others think that this can be managed but only when reputation itself is always negative, and no one can ever have a good reputation (i.e. reputation is expressed as zero or some negative number, a score on the identity). This kind of question is basic to social capital and trademark issues.

Reputation is basic to civilization and may be just as disputed a concept. Interestingly, while "to civilize" often gets critical attention as a process, as it might imply imperialism or colonialism, "civilization" itself as a concept rarely or never does, and is almost always assumed to be a good thing. Likewise the word reputation is assumed good and evokes stability in ways that repute does not, the latter being associated with verbs like "reputed" which imply uncertainty. These are subtle but key differences.

Ad hominem approval and permission-based models are poor wiki management practice where edits by "trusted users of good reputation" go unexamined and thus might contain all kinds of errors - while those by new or untrusted users (see New Troll point of view) are often attacked without reason or for ideological reasons. Obviously this assumes that there can be such a thing as positive repute, and that the new user necessarily lacks it, regardless of prior achievements anywhere else, or any credentials or skills.

See also ad hominem delete and ad hominem revert which assume that repute is both positive and negative - these poor practices generate sysop vandalism and aren't troll-friendly as they assume that "trolls are bad" (always) while "sysops are good" (always). Ask Wikimedia "can a sysop be a vandal?" and watch their tiny brains fry.
Contrast wiki best practices like the Lowest Troll role, which makes the assumption that any conflicts between users necessarily lowers the repute of all involved - thus whoever is involved in all disputes by default is "Lowest", and there is no assumption of any positive repute at all.