Sharing as a civic duty

Craig Newmark said that rating and reviewing online is tantamount to civic service. I agree and said in my book:

The ethics and expectations of privacy have changed radically in Generation G. People my age and older fret at all the information young people make public about themselves. I try to explain that this sharing of personal information is a social act. It forms the basis of the connections Google makes possible. When we reveal something of ourselves publicly, we have tagged ourselves in such a way that we can be searched and found under that description. As I said in the chapter on health, I now can be found in a search for my heart condition, afib. That is how others came to me and how we shared information. Publicness brings me personal benefits that outweigh the risks.

Publicness also brings us collective benefits, as should be made clear by now from the aggregated wisdom Google gathers and shares back with us thanks to our public actions: our searches, clicks, links, and creations. Publicness is a community asset. The crowd owns the wisdom of the crowd and to withhold information from that collective knowledge—a link, a restaurant rating, a bit of advice—may be a new definition of antisocial or at least selfish behavior.