No, a portable polygraph machine is not the answer.
Great topic—thank you for writing .
I like this challenge a lot.
Especially because I think we can still make significant progress to improve our “trust economy” with readily available tools.
Information begets trust insofar as it’s gathered, shared and displayed appropriately. For example, we have a lot more data and information on a given brand of baby food than is ever made available to a buyer online. The internet has of course been happy to facilitate easy and fast transactions nonetheless, without very much “information-rigor”. Marketing claims could get ALL the way around the world before the truth could get its pants on!
Ecommerce has conveniently decentralized a version of truth at the cost of now-familiar pitfalls. Democratized online reviews and social media are not critically mature enough to fight the winds of sales growth with scientific truth.
Hope: We can do something about this. The good news is that if the right information is available in the right places and in a digestible manner, we can expect people to act accordingly (right?).
A hypothesis? Brands can succeed over competitors AND do right by sharing more information, *in the right ways*, about their products.
Brands arent people, but they aren’t far off. They are conduits of trust.
Under the 'do something' I would lean more into government action - if technology is eroding trust, government should control their ability to do so. It is striking that social networks and news aggregators and search engines have no responsibility for the accuracy, veracity and outcomes related to the information they share - that is new. Essentially they provide free information, they get eyeballs, and they monetize advertising - this is what newspapers and radio and TV did but these were all tightly regulated for accuracy and responsible reporting (both by government and by the potential for private liable cases) ... we should force Meta, Alphabet, TikTok and others to live to the same standard.