Commons or gated community? A theoretical explication of virtual community and the example of Craigslist
An explication of theoretical concepts of community, virtual community, the commons, and gatekeeping exemplified by craigslist.org, a virtual community in which gatekeeping is revealed to have considerable salience. Specifically explored are the following questions: Does the openness of virtual communities threaten the principles on which they are based, creating a tragedy of the virtual commons? Do restrictions on free and open access in virtual communities transform them into the cyberspace equivalent of gated communities? Is there a more balanced construct of virtual communities that can fulfill their missions as virtual commons while protecting themselves from the tragedy of the commons?
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