Trust and the Internets

Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, has this to say about trust:

The big deal, online will be distributed trust. Just like in real life we rely on who we trust whether it’s for a dry-cleaner recommendation or a book recommendation or who to vote for how to run the country. And the idea is that we see the beginning right now already of trust mechanisms say on Amazon or Facebook or whatever and I think this decade and probably very soon we’re going to see the evolution of distributed trust mechanisms which work with each other say from Google, Amazon, Facebook and I really think they need to work with each other, I think they need to be available to all. The deal is we need systems which will be really, really hard to game, which are open to all which allow us to stand up for each other in terms of how much we trust them for whatever purpose and I think the opportunities here are large because so much depends on who we trust. The economic opportunity here might be huge. But you know maybe this is the type of thing that the big sites, the big trustworthy sites, should give away because I think this is really important not only for them and for Internet afficionados but for the whole species.

Not sure how trust in media outlets fits into all this, but there’s certainly room for a killer app in that department as well.