So your reputation has been damaged online. Maybe you’re an individual who has been falsely attacked. Maybe you own a business that has been hammered with terrible reviews by a nefarious competitor. The good news is that, for a price, you can rebuild your online reputation (or at least partially “erase” the bad parts). The bad news is that, in some cases, the people you have to pay own the sites and services that allowed you to be maligned in the first place. Paul Gallant in The Walrus: The Dirty Work of Cleaning Online Reputations. “The help that reputation fixers provide the shamed and the bullied—and the profits they extract from them—may also be incentivizing the shamers and the bullies. This is the dark side of online reputation management: websites can make money by removing the hurtful material they encouraged others to post in the first place.”

As I point out in my book, when it comes to the internet, in many ways we built the exact opposite of we set out to build. We underestimated, or wholly ignored, the extent to which the bad guys would be using the same tools we were creating for ourselves. As we now embark on what creators, coders, and investors are calling Web3, it’s vital that we consider the downsides and vulnerabilities of the tools we’re building. I’m not optimistic.

+ Related: NFTs were hyped as a way to make sure artists get paid for their work. Now, many creators are struggling to stop a wave of piracy.