Should websites be given trustworthiness ratings?
Sir Tim Berners-Lee is worried that there's too much disinformation floating around the web. He feels that there needs to be a way to rate sites according to how trustworthy they are. From the BBC
"On the web the thinking of cults can spread very rapidly and suddenly a cult which was 12 people who had some deep personal issues suddenly find a formula which is very believable," he said. "A sort of conspiracy theory of sorts and which you can imagine spreading to thousands of people and being deeply damaging."
Sir Tim and colleagues at the World Wide Web consortium had looked at simple ways of branding websites - but concluded that a whole variety of different mechanisms was needed.
"I'm not a fan of giving a website a simple number like an IQ rating because like people they can vary in all kinds of different ways," he said. "So I'd be interested in different organisations labelling websites in different ways".
I don't think this proposal would improve the situation in any way. There already are trustworthy sites on the internet, and the web is actually pretty good at debunking rumors and misinformation. The problem is, the people who believe the misinformation are the same people who don't bother to check the trustworthy sites. (Thanks, Joe!)
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