Lee, Russell, 1903-1986, photographer

 
Written by; Kjetil Manheim

How do we differentiate chalk from cheese on the Internet? How do we find gold, the good stuff among the pile of mediocre or poor stuff? Most important in today’s society how to we find trustworthy content among all the misleading or fraudulent content?

The answer is more and more often that we do not. It is just too damn hard. It is next to impossible without any prior knowledge or information of the sources we encounter when we decide to “browse the Internet”. Sure, you can trust The New York Times, Le Monde, The Economic Times or The Guardian. You might not like what or how they cover a story but you probably know they are trustworthy sources.

One thing is the famous brands but what about smaller or less known newspapers, a blog or a science report that does not origin from one of the well-known research centers? How do we know we encounter a trustworthy publisher when we do not have any other reference to them than what you see?

We do not know, and all sorts of more or less malign players exploit this.

B_A Pixabay

The way we consume information today makes us vulnerable because we depend on social media and friends (well sort of friends. The kind we have a few thousand of on Facebook or whatever) and not editors and experts. We do not have a common platform where we all see the same news feed anymore.

Tailored news feeds where designed as a feature to give us content that is more relevant to each of us but has evolved into the most powerful tool to manipulate and segregate humans into angry mobs accusing each other for lying or being crazy. We often base these accusations on what we know from the information flow we get in our separate trenches. A flow filled by players and sources of what we know little or nothing.

It is paramount that we get out of this situation. It is bad already and if we do nothing it probably will get worse. Publicisto takes this matter very serious. As a platform for publishing and distribution of content, we feel an obligation to contribute to a solution.

We cannot guarantee that our users always will tell the truth. We can however build a rating system to differentiate content and publicists. The rating would consider who the publicist is, where his or her content is published and sold, what topics the user usually publish and sell and so on.

To ensure that Russian lie factories or Asian click farms does not infiltrate the system we only allow secure verified identities into the rating system.

The future of information does not have to be broken.