A word of warning to those that infiltrate the content pipeline with information that’s not factual, because there’s heightened demand for new methods to distil the mountains of information we are presented with daily down to the unadulterated facts. People crave a way to cut through the opinions, marketing speak and propaganda to get to the truth. And technology just might be the solution we need to become data-driven decision-makers who objectively understand the information.
There are reasons why we struggle under the weight of fake or worthless content. Every 60 seconds, 160 million emails are sent, 98,000 tweets are shared on Twitter, 600 videos are uploaded to YouTube, and 1,500 blog entries are created. Nobody but a machine could keep up with it all.
Not only do we struggle to determine if politicians are telling us the truth, but marketers try to hook us up with all kinds of products that are just what we need because they are the better than the competition, the safest, the only one that will get you your desired results. The hyperbole is exhausting.
We have never experienced such a time when we have so much information and so many opinions thrown at us from so many angles. In response to our struggles, fact-checking organisations that are dedicated to dissect and analyse statements made by politicians and public figures now exist and are becoming increasingly visible.
As data continues to explode, the ability to rummage through it to find the truth required in a situation is essential. Consumers won’t be patient either. They want to find out anything they seek to know, and they want to know it now. Brands will have to respond with truth and transparency if they hope to remain competitive.
Businesses are beginning to respond to their customers’ demands for facts. The big data-driven, machine-learning tech that is rolling out gives customers the raw material needed to measure and quantify absolute, objective facts and then act based on those findings, rather than rely on opinions and gut instincts so common today.
New Model for Media
When Ev Williams, co-founder of Twitter and co-creator of Blogger, developed Medium it was to give the world an alternative communication platform where “anyone can express themselves.” Anyone can also earn influence on Medium, and it’s a force for good where everybody can speak freely and exchange information and ideas.
Facebook’s Got Our Backs
After the 2016 U.S. Presidential election opened up concerns regarding the proliferation of fake news that may have impacted the outcome of the race, Facebook has responded by working with four independent fact-checking organisations—Snopes, Politifact, ABC News, and FactCheck. Org—to verify the truthfulness of viral storeys. New tools that are designed to avert the spread of misinformation will notify Facebook users when they try to share a storey that has been bookmarked as false by these “independent fact-checkers.”
Transparency of Reds and Whites
Alit Wine is leading the industry to “shine a light on the places that the wine industry doesn’t talk about, ” founder Mark Tarlov says. One of those things that’s typically hush-hush in the industry is the how much each element of the winemaking process costs. But, not Alit Wine. The company sells wine directly to consumers, and they detail exactly how much each step of production costs for the wines they sell.
Big Brother in Reverse
Usually, we’re concerned about the scrutiny of the government into our own affairs. But, Contratobook helps citizens scrutinise the work of government and public officials. Launched in Mexico in 2016 by a group of anonymous hackers, the organisation is an open-source platform that allows people to search, philtre and comment on more than 1.6 million government bids and contracts dating back to 2002. For those citizens with a desire to do so, they can look at each entry’s details including contact values, involved parties and start date to detect irregular or inaccurate expenses.
Those brands and companies who build trust with their customer base via transparency and factual information that can be verified with data are expected to have the competitive edge in a world that has grown weary of the widespread dishonesty and misinformation that permeates our culture.