chapter  8
14 Pages

“Black Friday” and Feedback Bombing: An Examination of Trust and Online Community in eBay’s Early History


More specifically, the data shed light on how self-selecting committed members approached their own relationship with the eBay community and the eBay administration. Through it, we understand their perceptions of the events preceding this crisis and the steps that they believed eBay could have taken to avert it. Members reported that Black Friday acted as a catalyst that brought other long-standing problems to a head. From this perspective, outcry over the new policies may be interpreted as a second-order trust problem. Respondents voiced deep concern regarding larger issues of broken community, most notably their collective and individual disillusionment with the Feedback Forum. Ongoing issues of broken trust and the feedback system created a malaise ripe for Black Friday to explode as a full-blown crisis. Black Friday was the tipping point that caused members to critically evaluate their vision of eBay, marking a brutal shift in their perception of eBay as an idealized community to eBay as a community betrayed by its own administration.