Social Media Trust: How Do I Even Know You’re Human?!?


The lecture for this week was interesting in that it gave me a lot to consider when deciding whether or not I trust someone on social media.  Ironically, I think I have been going through this process already when deciding who to follow or who to share content from.  The following equation was given for us to analyze and discuss on its merits when “calculating trust:”


Personally, I think this equation is missing one element that I am going to attempt to describe: Connection Credibility (C squared for the purposes of fitting in the equation).  I agree with everything that is listed on the above formula but think there is one more thing to consider.  When I decide to follow someone or share their content, I am very interested in who else that person is following or where that content might have come from.  For example, if I am looking to follow an influencer in higher education, I will look at who they are following and who they are connecting with on social media.  On the other hand, if I am sharing content from someone, I will try and find the underlying source of that content.  If an article says a city has seen less crime rates due to the issuing of more public concealed weapon carry permits, I might question the article, especially if it was shared by someone with a connection to the NRA.  Connection credibility.


The other question we had to discuss was how we felt the Northern Rail Company was doing on social media.  The above timeline was shared and I was very impressed with the response rate and relevance of the company.  It felt like a real person with real connections to the company (credibility through connection, aha!) who was capable of bringing about positive change for the customer.  I have experienced this on my own when Tweeting the XBOX Twitter account and was very impressed with their response.    


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