Networks reinforcing trust


Photo credit: Yuri Arcurs

There’s a real concern among some networkers in how to get granted that we can trust someone we’ve met on the net.  Trust is a fundamental value in networking and virtual networks make it more difficult to guess. Yes, we normally guess if someoen deserves our trust by observing his or her behavior, by analyzing his or her statements by finding out his or her activities. On the net, this is more difficult to follow. All we do is to guess, because people can hide many thinks of their private life and, because we normally don’t react the same way to all the circumstances. So, we’ll never know if someone can deceive us in a different circumstance.

I had two discussions this last days on trust and networking that made me reflect on what really is the real position of networkers in confront of trust. In open networks like Facebook or Twitter we don’t care very much on who is observing what we say or what we post, even if users have been told about the risks that this inconscious behavior can suppose. For example, when employers want to know about their employees, or when companies want to know what the market prefers. We are in the open scene and everyone can see much of us. Obciously there ar privacy tools that can help to protect our privacy but most of the users don’t use them.

In Twitter most users let everyone to follow their twitts freely, but the majority are using sometimes twitter for personal or private conversations with friends and relatives.

In conclusion, networkers are quite confident on the net. What happens then when someone deceives our trust? Many people reacted very negatively to the false twittering of a politician in Spain (Rosa Diez) who was sending twitts at the same time she was in a radio show being interviewed. Her secretary had to justify this behavior by saying that Mrs. Rosa Diez had a very busy agenda and sometimes another person wrote her twitts. What followers asked is why did this other person use the personal accout of Rosa Diez. Shal we believe that not every teitter is written by the author that appears in the message?

In the case of politics, this is a big mistake and a proof of dishonour. Mrs. Rosa Diez has deceived graviously her followers. In Granollers (close to Barcelona), in the Catosfera Meeting (see #cdigital09 on Twitter and on facebook) during the week end bloggers and experts on the web 2.0 discussed about the opportunities and challenges that the new paradigm of Internet is offering to the economy and to the society. In this meeting some politicians explained their experiences in using 2.0 tools to communicate with citizens. Two excellent bloggers and twitterers are the President of the Catalan Parliament Mr. Ernest Benach and the Representative in the same Parliament for the PSC, Mr. J.A. Donaire who have been promotong the best practices of using web 2.0 tools in the politics.

My conclusion in following these two politicians is that they broadcast their daily activities and open debates on important issues to the citizens. This are important ways to narrow politics to the people.

I believe that despite the existence of offenders in the network, (the same as they exist in physical life), in the network people like to hav trust because they need it to believe in networking. Humans are social beeings and Internet has become more attractive since it gives the opportunity to broaden our networks.


About Oriol

Professor dels Estudis d'Economia i Empresa de la UOC Lecturer of the Department of Economics and Business Administration Universitat Oberta de Catalunya - Barcelona- Spain
This entry was posted in Information, Knowledge, Open Thought, social network and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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