<span class='p-name'>Trust, But Verify</span>

This post in Aeon magazine by Gloria Origgi, an Italian philosopher and a tenured senior researcher at CNRS suggests that we’re no longer in the information age, we should now be focused on reputation. This is an interesting glimpse into opportunities to use technology to provide insight and verification into claims made online.

From the post:

We are experiencing a fundamental paradigm shift in our relationship to knowledge. From the ‘information age’, we are moving towards the ‘reputation age’, in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated and commented upon by others. Seen in this light, reputation has become a central pillar of collective intelligence today. It is the gatekeeper to knowledge, and the keys to the gate are held by others. The way in which the authority of knowledge is now constructed makes us reliant on what are the inevitably biased judgments of other people, most of whom we do not know.

I’d like to see a space that is a mix of Facebook, LinkedIN, and Reddit. But owned by none of those entities. You should own it.

This is why I think we need more “ownership” of our content and the spaces in which we collect this “reputation score.”

I think the answer is a little bit guided by indieweb philosophies, and it’s a little bit maintaining our own personal ledger.

Challenges of Verifying Claims

When we view texts from the eye of a historian, we evaluate the text, the speaker, the claim, and the context. When someone asserts a fact, we evaluate their motives. We need to examine the fact, or text that is shared, and determine where this originated.

The challenge is that we also need to monitor our own belief in facts, truth, and ultimately the speaker. Many get so lost in their own belief structures, and experts in a given field that they believe all that is shared by or through them. As an example, look at Dan Bongino, the sage of Facebook.

The other challenge is that the Internet, especially spaces like Facebook, have become largely unintelligible. Algorithms control what information is presented to you. The motives behind the forces that brought you a certain fact are less than clear. This becomes even more complex as we try to track a fact back to the source. In the end, we may only find a series of dead ends, syndicated content, and bots.

In the end, users of the Internet become pawns in a flow of ‘information’ that circulates endlessly in the ether causing a contagion that is nearly insurmountable.

Doveryai, no proveryai. Perhaps this is not possible.


Photo by marcos mayer on Unsplash

This post is Day 56 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com.

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