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Microeconomics Workshop - Bruno Salcedo

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 4:15pm

Bruno Salcedo

Cornell University

498 Uris Hall

"Trolls for Hire: Shill Advertisement Online"

There is an increasing tendency for agents to find information on the internet.  I model online learning as a mass of users anonymously sharing private signals. A principal can hire trolls to act as shill users that share fake signals in order to sway public opinion. Trolls can be an effective mean of persuasion because the anonymity of the environment makes it hard  to distinguish trolls from other users. However, the possibility of trolling can make everyone worse off. Users are made worse off because the information they receive is distorted. The principal is made worse off because the cost that she ends up paying in equilibrium exceeds the benefits.


Event Categories: Microeconomic Theory