The Changing Rules of Trust in the Digital Age

Rachel Botsman, Harvard Business Review, Oct 20, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

According to this article, "A new world of trust is emerging: one where trust lies in the hands of individuals, not in the big bellies of institutions." As an example, Rachel Botsman cites the case of AirBNB, where she is rated as a guest by the proprietor, while she rates the lodging as a guest. It changes hr behaviour, she writes. "It’s easy to see how one careless towel toss could impact my ability to transact on Airbnb in the future." Maybe - but I fail to see how this is a case where trust lies in the hands of the individuals. It's still in a big institution - AirBNB - against which you have no appeal, no recourse. AirBNB is no more 'personal' than it is 'sharing'. 

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