Social Media and the Paradox of Cooperation

3 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2010

Date Written: November 30, 2010


There is ample evidence that while the ratio of contributions to their consumption is indeed small, the growth in content provision in social media persists at levels that are hard to understand if analyzed from a public goods point of view.

Our studies show that the puzzle is explained by the fact that those contributing to the digital commons perceive it as a private good rather a public one, in which payment for their efforts is in the form of the attention that their content gathers in the form of media quotes, downloads or news clicked on.

Suggested Citation

Huberman, Bernardo A., Social Media and the Paradox of Cooperation (November 30, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Bernardo A. Huberman (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Palo Alto, CA 94305
United States

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