Perverse Ethical Concerns: Online Platforms and Offline Conflicts

Office of Alumni and External Relations    2021-11-22

Subject: Perverse Ethical Concerns: Online Platforms and Offline Conflicts

Guest: Allen Vong, UM Macao Fellow in Social Sciences, University of Macau.

Host: Lim Xi Zhi, Associate ProfessorAntai

Time: Wednesday, Nov 17, 2021, 14:30-1:00

Venue: Tencent Meeting


We study a model where many citizens learn a hidden state individually on an online platform. The platform slants news and imperfectly filters misinformation, triggering conflicts about the state among the citizens. We show that a platform that faces an ethical concern to internalize conflict costs could perversely aggravate conflicts. This cautionary observation highlights that popular societal efforts to mitigate conflicts, such as investments in ethical algorithms, public awareness campaigns, and government policies, are effective if and only if their implementations are sufficiently aggressive.


Allen Vong is UM Macao Fellow in Social Sciences at the University of Macau. He received his PhD in economics from Yale University. He obtained his undergraduate degrees in economics and in mathematics at the University of Melbourne. Allen’s research has focused on repeated games, dynamic games and information economics.

Tags:Wednesday, Nov 17, 2021, 14:30-1:00