poly: A reputation problem

From: Richard Schroeppel <rcs@cheltenham.cs.arizona.edu>
Date: Mon Nov 23 1998 - 14:44:22 PST

I think this article raises an interesting problem with "reputation".
Is there any reasonable remedy that doesn't involve libel law?

Rich Schroeppel rcs@cs.arizona.edu

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Paper says Realtors providing inaccurate ratings on Web site
                                                                                                   
      Copyright 1998 Nando Media
      Copyright 1998 The Associated Press
      
   CHICAGO (November 22, 1998 6:15 p.m. EST http://www.nandotimes.com)
-- A computer program glitch is causing the National Association of
Realtors' new Internet site to provide inaccurate
   ratings of school systems across the country, the Chicago Tribune
reported Sunday.
   
   The search site, with 1.3 million homes listed, rated some Chicago
area school systems as average or poor, even though they scored highly
in the criteria used. Such mistakes can hurt local
   property markets, as school data is a key factor in home-buying
decisions, the Tribune said.
   
   The site's operator, RealSelect Inc., acknowledged the mistakes to
the Tribune and blamed the computer program that produces the ratings.
   
   "It was a systematic mathematical error," said Stuart Wolff, who
heads the Westlake Village, Calif., company. "We are in the process of
correcting it."
   
   The association's "Find a Neighborhood" feature in which the
erroneous school ratings were listed has operated since early October.
   
   It allows buyers to list preferences in areas such as schools,
income levels, crime rates and cultural amenities. It then uses the
criteria to match the buyer with a community.
   
   The scoring for schools is a product of weighted averages of SAT
and ACT results, the percentage of college-bound students and national
merit finalists, and spending per student.
   
   Illinois communities with high scholastic reputations, such as Oak
Park and Palos Park, were rated only average by the site.
   
   Sue Hall, a real estate agent at Koenig & Strey's Wilmette office,
said she is livid about the errors. People moving from out of state
check such information on the Internet, she said, "and
   frankly, they're looking to eliminate communities."
Received on Mon Nov 23 22:48:40 1998

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