From an old paper of mine, note the message by eBay founder.
In fact, Resnick and Zeckhauser (2002) consider two explanations related to the success of eBay’s feedback system:
(1) “The system may still work, even if it is unreliable or unsound, if its participants think it is working. (…) It is the perception of how the system operates, not the facts, that matters” and
(2) “Even though the system may not work well in the statistical tabulation sense, it may function successfully if it swiftly turns against undesirable sellers (…), and if it imposes costs for a seller to get established.”
They also argue that: “on the other hand, making dissatisfaction more visible might destroy people’s overall faith in eBay as a generally safe marketplace.”
This seems confirmed by a message posted on eBay by its founder in 1996:
“Most people are honest. And they mean well. Some people go out of their way to make things right. I’ve heard great stories about the honesty of people here. But some people are dishonest: or deceptive. This is true here, in the newsgroups, in the classifieds, and right next door. It’s a fact of life. But here, those people can’t hide. We’ll drive them away. Protect others from them. This grand hope depends on your active participation” (Omidyar, 1996).
On eBay, whose goal, after all, is to allow a large number of commercial transactions to happen, it seems that positive feelings and perceptions can create a successful and active community more than a sound Trust Metric and reputation system. This means that the fact that a Trust Metric or reputation system is proved to be attack resistant does not have
an immediate effect on how users perceive it and hence, on how this helps in keeping the community healthy and working.