Why Inauthentic Behavior Has Eroded Trust Online - And How To Fix It

Trust is at the core of society.


Functioning in the world would be difficult without trust. People wouldn’t cross an intersection without trusting the other vehicles to stop. Every shopper paying with cash trusts that their money has value. Each personal relationship is based on trust.

It’s harder to trust what you read online. According to Craig Silverman, media editor of BuzzFeeds News in the introduction to the Verification Handbook For Disinformation And Media Manipulation, “at any given moment we can be led astray by what we think we know.” 

 Misinformation is nothing new. It is a form of deception that is as old as people’s ability to communicate. It has been used to fool the public, topple governments and affect stock markets. What’s changed are the methods and technological ability to spread information faster than ever before - and with duplicitous results.

Voice is building a social media platform based on realness, at a time when the value of information is at a premium but society’s trust in its institutions, including the media, is at its lowest. The rise of the label “fake news” has diminished the efficacy of real journalism. On Voice, journalists have a place to be valued for their expertise without the need to shout over the din of fake accounts and well-meaning but misleading citizen journalists.

 “People are increasingly divided, and a large part of that is due to the way we consume information online,” Voice CEO Salah Zalatimo says. “More divisive takes get more traction because it makes more money for social platforms today.”

Zalatimo says Voice’s focus is on content creators, who are the critical component in collecting, analyzing, and distributing the pertinent information of the day. Journalists without a platform, like a media outlet, shouldn’t be stuck tying their success to opaque algorithms and ad impressions. 

The days of the audience being a black box of shadily inflated numbers are over. Creators deserve to know their work is being seen by real people. Plus, according to Zalatimo, “Authenticity will also help reintroduce civil discourse.”

 By enforcing a one account per human policy, Voice is quite unlike other platforms, which allow bots and trolls to spew and amplify misinformation without retribution. Eliminating trolls means the platform can be a powerful place for authentic community engagement, while also keeping a lid on misinformation. Put all that together, and you have a recipe for rebuilding trust. 

 “The experience we’re creating on Voice reflects the authentic lived experiences of the users where their real voice is empowered and heard,” Zalatimo says. “Our creators have formed strong relationships with community members right off the bat which helps us create an environment that reflects ‘social as it should be.’”

 The goal is to create an online experience that mirrors the veracity of real life, without inauthentic filters. 

 “Think of it like a digital barbecue where you treat others online as you would were you to meet them at a neighborhood gathering,” Zalatimo says. “There’s a different dynamic at play when you know everyone you’re interacting with is a real person.”

 It’s called trust.

 Visit Voice.com to request early access.


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