Does user participation impose danger?

Audience participation is crucial for social media websites. The level of participation often defines the level of success these platforms have. Let us take Gumtree for example. Gumtree is a website for classified advertising. It was created to connect buyers and sellers. The significance of user contribution can be recognised on several levels.

First of all, the content on the website is made up of adverts for goods and services, generated by the users, rather than the website itself. The content is therefore created and shaped by the users.

Second, like every other market, Gumtree operates under the fundamental concept of supply and demand. Adverts respectively reflect this principle, as some of them offer goods and services, while others demand goods and services. Thus, user participation is the engine of this website.

According to Gumtree, it is the number 1 website for classified ads in the UK. However, according to the Daily Mail, becoming a victim of fraud and cyber-crime on this website is not an uncommon thing. This raises the question whether it is safe to buy goods and services, advertised by other users. It certainly has its pros and cons, but is it worth the risk?

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