Effects arising as a result of activities of social networks based on mutual covering, blackmail, and favoring of players that violate the generally accepted principles, i.e. as a result of what we call the structures based on mutual covering
Let us first recall and further clarify the mechanism, on the basis of which the structures based on mutual covering of violations of the generally accepted principles come into existence. A player, who finds out that another player violates the generally accepted principles, has the following options:
- To spread the information about the violation of the generally accepted principles – i.e. to help to punish violating player.
- To overlook the conduct of the relevant player – i.e. no response.
- To start violating the generally accepted principles as well.
- To exploit the information – i.e. blackmail the relevant player. The higher sanctions are imposed for the violation of the generally accepted principles, the higher effect might result from the blackmailing of the player, who violated the generally accepted principles.
In case of an attempt to blackmail the player, who violated the generally accepted principles, the relevant player has several options:
- Refuse the blackmailing, even at the cost of being punished by the community.
- Notify the community of an attempted blackmail, which itself represents a certain form of violation of the generally accepted principles and, as such, may be sanctioned by the community
- Submit to the player, who is blackmailing him/her, and allow to be blackmailed. In this case, the blackmailed player compares the sanction to be imposed in case he/she does not accept the proposal of the blackmailer and the benefits generated if he/she accepts the blackmailer's proposal.
The higher sanctions are imposed for the violation of the generally accepted principles (in the form of uncooperative conduct in our case), the higher the protection of the community against such behavior, whereas the blackmailing of one player by another may prove to be more effective. As soon as the structures based on mutual covering of violations of the generally accepted principles start to form on the basis of this within the system, it may result in a significant reduction in the cooperative conduct and subsequent losses in effectiveness. In case this concerns a larger system, which creates its own institutional structure, it may result in serious dysfunctions of the entire institutional structure. More detailed analysis of these issues assumes the application and interpretation of other models, and this is the objective of the project solution. However, just the description specified herein shows that a community, which wishes to prevent the violation of the generally accepted principles that allow the development of such community (in general, principles of justice, fairness, and equality), must be able to detect the structures that wish to violate such principles. The given community's system of regulations must then be set up in a way that individual members of the community do not find it beneficial to form (become engaged in) the structures based on mutual covering of violations of the generally accepted principles. One of the project outputs will be the proposal of a structure (design) of such system of regulations, which would lead to the fact that the membership in the structures based on mutual covering of violations of the generally accepted principles would not be beneficial for players (community members).
It is already possible to describe the effects that arise on the basis of a player's involvement in a structure based on mutual covering of violations of the generally accepted principles. It is possible to distinguish several effects of this type. They are as follows: Effect of impunity, effect of predetermining coalitions, effect of favoring.
Effect of impunity
Similarly as various communities create mechanisms and institutions that make it possible to detect and punish those players, who violate agreements or generally accepted principles, the structures based on mutual covering create various mechanisms and even institutions that allow effective covering of violations of the generally accepted principles. In case a player allows to be blackmailed, he/she gets under the protection of the relevant structure, which considerably or – to be precise – fundamentally reduces the risk that his/her conduct would be detected and punished by the community.
Effect of predetermining coalitions
Affinity between players given by an inclusion in the same structure based on mutual covering of violations of the generally accepted principles significantly predetermines the formation of coalitions. Players, who are not involved in such structures, virtually do not have a chance to compensate, through their concessions (reduction of the required payoff), the equalizing of chances for the participation in the winning coalition. Since the relevant affinities are covert by nature, they are not informed about them. Furthermore, this concerns very strong affinities, also associated with investments in social status.
Effect of favoring
We have not yet prepared a suitable model here. These are effects associated with principal-agent problems, when the structures based on mutual covering have the ability to appoint those, who are involved in such structures, to important positions in a organizations (for instance in a police structure to hinder or to stop police investigation of members such structure or in parliament in order to accept such bills that are convenient to the structures). There are two types of effects that arise in this manner: In the form of financial and nonfinancial returns from the prominent position within the given organization. In the form of significant expansion of the possibilities to violate the generally accepted principles with minimum risk of punishment. The above mentioned verbal description of effects gives the basic conceptual process for solution. From the methodological perspective, the solution will take place in the form of the application of the NM-modified Raiffa solution for the drafting models that allow the assessment of effects arising as a result of the activities of social networks based on mutual covering, blackmail, and favoring of players, who violate the generally accepted principles, i.e. of what we call the structures based on mutual covering. On the basis of such models, we will also look for answers to the following questions: What is the role of the players' knowledge of the existence of affinities? What possibilities has a player to compensate the impact of affinities if he/she is informed about such affinities? The elaboration of the relevant models within the project is associated with an analysis of real social situations – for example, events of indiscretion and absorption of indiscretion, as disclosed by public sources. From this perspective, the creation of theoretical models may play an important role in understanding the real social events.