Has trust in a digital economy vanished?
Trust is what allows us to live in reliable, engaged and well-connected communities. It is the deciding factor that governs whether society will function or fail. Trust is absolutely critical to the successful development and maintenance of our day-to-day lives.
So what happens to trust when the promised benefits of a digitalised economy remain elusive and ultimately don’t materialise?
Results from the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer show that we are placing less trust in institutions, politicians, business and the media. Instead, a new social trust between strangers is emerging as we begin to place more faith in individuals and user-generated content. Technology is creating mechanisms that help facilitate our trust in others and new platforms and services such as Airbnb, Tinder and Bitcoin are just the tip of the iceberg in this social revolution.
Increased data security concerns and intellectual property issues are also driving the re-emergence of Closed, or Private Social Networks (PNWs), as opposed to Open Social Networks (OSNs). Many are worried that online privacy and security is all but disappearing, and an increasing reliance on algorithms and (ro)bots is threatening job security.
The use of ‘bots’ has never been more prominent. Their role in the 2016 US Presidential Election has been well documented, particularly after it was revealed that almost 20%, or four million campaign tweets, came from 400,000 automated and fake identities.