Note — Sep 01, 2019

The Internet Has Made Dupes—and Cynics—of Us All

Zeynep Tufekci reviews some of the ways fakes and fraud have become pervasive on the internet and argues that no, this is not just “LoL, nothing matters” but rather that it pushes us towards a “low-trust society—one where an assumption of pervasive fraud is simply built into the way many things function.”

But deception and corruption, as we’ve all seen by now, scale pretty fantastically too. […]

In low-trust societies, you never know. You expect to be cheated, often without recourse. You expect things not to be what they seem and for promises to be broken, and you don’t expect a reasonable and transparent process for recourse. It’s harder for markets to function and economies to develop in low-trust societies. It’s harder to find or extend credit, and it’s risky to pay in advance.