Halford, Susan and Tinati, Ramine
Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology.
- Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only
‘Crowdsourcing’ describes the diverse practices of online distributed knowledge production whereby the Web is used to host collaborative platforms that focus large volumes of information, from multiple users, towards specific tasks. Sometimes described as the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ or ‘collective intelligence’ crowdsourcing was originally conceived as a model for business innovation has now been taken up by a range of organizations and users – from business to government, charities and NGOs – and has come to describe different models of practice ranging from tightly prescribed human computational tasks to looser forms of collective data gathering. Usually undertaken voluntarily, crowdsourcing raises questions about participants’ motivation, data quality and sustainability; and also broader questions about the politics of knowledge production - as citizens rather than experts come to play a greater role in generating knowledge about our world – and the changing nature of labour markets, as salaried professionals are replaced with unpaid volunteers.
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