Pagkalos, Ionnis and Weal, Mark
Trust on the Web: A model for online discussions.
In, IADIS International Conference WWW/INTERNET 2009, Rome, Italy,
19 - 22 Nov 2009.
Trust can be a valuable ally when filtering information provided by the users of online forums or other tools of social interaction in the web, but it is also an implicit procedure performed by humans. This work studies the notion of Trust in online discussions and defines a generic model to describe, measure and evaluate it. An electronic survey was performed in order to understand how humans perceive Trust when interacting with a Forum. The combined results of this survey along with previous work in the area and initial observations provided a set of quantifiable Trust Metrics that was used as the basis for developing a generic model and a prototype web application (TrustBB) to describe and measure Trust. The intention is not to provide an all-in-one solution but to specify a framework of configurable metrics to describe Trust in forums and express it via an abstract rating. Administrators of TrustBB are then able to plug-in and edit their own metrics according to different research scenarios and requirements. The resulting Trust rating is useful to users/administrators of a bulletin board, who have a metric to consult when filtering information, but also to Social Scientists in their studies of the social interactions that take place in online discussions. Furthermore, not only is the model extensible and adaptable, but the combination of the model and an existing Forum technology could be used as a basis for further, more specialised experiments.
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