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Crowdsourcing Honesty and Trust

Three thought-provoking reads (even more thought-provoking taken together than each in isolation):

Crowdsourcing Honesty?:

In short, we are far more likely to be honest when reminded of morality, especially when temptation strikes. Ariely thus concludes that the act of taking an oath can make all the difference.

Craig Newmark on the Web’s Next Big Problem:

And what is that? The question of who to trust online, according to Newmark. To solve it, he believes that what the web needs is a “distributed trust network” that allows us to manage our online relationships and reputations. I just happened to have a Flip video camera with me, so I convinced him to let me capture a few minutes of him discussing this concept; I’ve embedded the clip below.

How to Spark a Snowcrash, & What the Web Really Does:

All of us have a trust network already “in real life.” It’s your family and your close friends and colleagues, all those strong ties, and also your extended family, community, and coworkers, your weak ties. These people are crucial, they are your companions day to day. But what about people beyond your real life connections? Is there a way to extend our connections and build trust with strangers who have a diversity of backgrounds, skills, strengths, resources, and knowledge? People who could help us if we needed help? Could we establish a global trust network?

What I discovered through Twitter was that there are people out there who know what community means. Who really, truly know. These people have already internalized what a society could look like based on a cooperative model, and it seems that this is what’s really going on on the web. Beyond all the superficial stuff out there, all the mindless entertainment and porn, at the core (or maybe at the periphery) is a community of….thousands?….millions?….of people who have jobs and careers and passions that they carry out “in the real world,” but have already embraced the vision of a much different way of life that is based in trust.


  1. #1 CitizenWill
    March 21, 2010

    Bora it’s interesting that we’re finally back to the distributed trust relationship problem. When we used to have local meetups this was one of the main topics I used to bring up – how to establish trust on the ‘net and leverage the community in determining levels of trust.

  2. #2 R. Schauer
    March 21, 2010

    I sit stunned…that indeed there is the real possibility of all this happening, namely:

    “There is a movement that is slowly gaining steam as people are “waking up” it has the potential to change the world.” (Vanessa) and “What is actually happening on the web is an epic experiment in creating a new society”(Ibid)

    How cool is that?

    Thanks for the great links and for your enthusiastic dissemination of hope!

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