Networking Reference
In-Depth Information
Fig. 4.2
Trust in information
the credibility of the sources and information they provide [ 67 ]. Certain information
can be considered more credible because it agrees with the majority of sites on this
topic (unless of course they all appear to be copies of the same page). Over time,
a user may rely on her judgment about the content more than the credibility of the
source, combining facts from different sources when necessary to form an answer to
a query. Research in this area shows that when information credibility is concerned,
it is important to understand the trust for the sources as well as the trustor's mental
model. The relationship between the two co-evolves continuously with the help of
many different types of cues.
People also incorporate social signals to judge information credibility. This
especially true in situations where information travels very quickly and there is
limited opportunity to verify its validity by relying on more reputable sources.
Saavedraa et al. [ 66 ] study traders exchanging instant messages in an attempt to
interpret and disambiguate information. In this case, the traders already trust each
other and are not in direct competition. The authors show that people working
together tend to synchronize their message exchange. The level of synchrony is a
useful signal that shows that a consensus is being reached; the highest synchrony
occurs when everyone agrees. Traders who could detect when the synchrony is
starting to happen end up making the largest profits.
Social media is also used to spread misinformation and spam, sometimes with
a political motive. For example, information often starts to get circulated quickly
by a small group of individuals on the Internet, gets picked up by news agencies
as fact, and then starts to become common wisdom due to its prominence on the
We b [ 16 , 64 ]. In this case, if people can be fooled into sending misinformation, then
those who trust them will further propagate it and increase its reach considerably in
a short amount of time. Metaxas et al. [ 55 ] show that the support for real time
content search contributes to rumors and misinformation becoming viral. Given
that social media has been a crucial component of recent popular uprisings like
those in Egypt and Tunisia [ 70 ], it is important to understand how people assess
credibility in these sites. This is a growing area of interest, in which research
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