Whispers along the wire

Over the last couple weeks on the back of the "purge" that has been happening on various social platforms, there has been pushback by many parts of the community against having "these kinds" of people on the platform. I find this position confusing, considering that Hive as infrastructure is increasingly designed for second-layer segmentation of content. This means that an interface built on Hive can focus on a niche market segment, without encroaching on other content segments. This is becoming more important now.

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A couple days ago, @blocktrades wrote an extensive chapter into his journey toward developing a web of trust system, which is well worth the read. There are many, many aspects and use cases to this, but what I find interesting in particular for Hive in relation to diverse content, is that it could be used to not only evaluate individual content, but could also provide a meta analysis of content groups. This would mean that not only would content be given a rating, but also a community itself through the filter of the content they create and share.

With the climate and condition of the current informational flow and the massive divides between positions that are causing all kinds of conflicts, the profile of information trust is going to increase in the public sphere. Calling everything "fake news" has led to a position where nothing can be trusted, which will lead to finding ways to build trust or prove trustability.

This is essentially what blockchain does in the trustless environment, by verifying transactions between unknown parties and this can be pushed out to verifying content across a matrix of points to give some kind of trust rating. This brings accountability to content and with the tracing of shares, it is also possible to track the trust of an individual or source. On top of this, it will also be able to evaluate the subtle changes that can happen along the information flow, much like a game of Telephone.

As intelligent content evaluation tools increase in power, content will be able to be compared quickly and precisely and give a consumer a very precise rating of whether what is being read should be trusted. Currently and depending on culture, people tend to look at trust at the source level, not the individual piece level - meaning that many trust an "outlet" and be relatively blind case by case. This allows for a lot of error to seep into the feed without most people picking up on it, as they aren't looking for it.

This is of course just one facet of the future of information confidence ratings, but it is something that Hive can definitely benefit from and I think that in combination with a very diverse range of communities, the incentive to deliver good information can slowly start to take over from the "click at any cost" model that we are currently supporting.

While people "want" good information, the way we share content indicates that we are unwilling to vet the content ourselves, which means that there is a market for an effective system. Currently, media outlets leverage the gap in the market for profit, creating disconnection and outrage to drive clicks to improve their add revenues.

The ad model is not entirely bad, but with no real rival on the internet, it has run rampant to the point where it is harmful to our very existence. To combat this, there has to be rival revenue models introduced as competition, and of course blockchain and crypto offer this potential in various ways. Part of that approach is to undermine the incentive to provide bad information for profit, by rating it in the eyes of the consumer in real time, not a month, week or even a day later. With the current information environment and news cycle - discovery has to be near immediate and very visible, to stop the spread of mis- and disinformation.

There is a huge amount of value for systems that can be developed to start combating poor quality information and providing content confidence. Not only this, if that process and encouragement for increasing confidence can be rewarded, it changes the incentive for false information to the point where "fake news" is the exception and the value in providing quality information is what attracts the attention and the earnings.

So, while there is that pushback against some kinds of communities on Hive, they can encourage the development of tools and functions that improve information as a whole and perhaps, once everyone has access to better information, some of the conflicts will resolve themselves.

[ Gen1: Hive ]

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