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Towards Trustworthy Social Media and Crowdsourcing

Towards Trustworthy Social Media and Crowdsourcing

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Published by The Wilson Center
Individuals and organizations interested in using social media and crowdsourcing currently lack two key sets of information: a systematic assessment of the vulnerabilities in these technologies and a comprehensive set of best practices describing how to address those vulnerabilities. Identifying those vulnerabilities and developing those best practices are necessary to address a growing number of cybersecurity incidents ranging from innocent mistakes to targeted attacks that have claimed lives and cost millions of dollars.
Individuals and organizations interested in using social media and crowdsourcing currently lack two key sets of information: a systematic assessment of the vulnerabilities in these technologies and a comprehensive set of best practices describing how to address those vulnerabilities. Identifying those vulnerabilities and developing those best practices are necessary to address a growing number of cybersecurity incidents ranging from innocent mistakes to targeted attacks that have claimed lives and cost millions of dollars.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: The Wilson Center on Apr 29, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/25/2013

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Towards TrusTworThysocial Media and crowdsourcing
ByGeorge Chamales, Rogue Genius, LLC | May 2013
The trouble with trusting technology is that thereare so many ways things can go wrong; prob-lems can occur as a result o weaknesses in thetechnology, mistakes made by users, or troubleintentionally caused by abusers. This is certainlythe case when dealing with crowdsourcing andsocial media—technologies built on complex,global platorms that rely on the interaction ohundreds o thousands o people every day.Laying the oundation or trust in social mediaand crowdsourcing is a three-step process.The rst step is to understand the primaryways in which these technologies can beused. The second is to assess the ways inwhich things can go wrong while using them.The third is to develop best practices to pre-vent those bad things rom happening.Building trust through understanding technolo-gies, identiying vulnerabilities, and developingbest practices does not require that the tech-nologies or the people using them be trust-worthy. Instead, it enables users ranging rom
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Individuals and organizations interested in using social media and crowdsourcingcurrently lack two key sets of information: a systematic assessment of thevulnerabilities in these technologies and a comprehensive set of best practicesdescribing how to address those vulnerabilities. Identifying those vulnerabilities anddeveloping those best practices are necessary to address a growing number ofincidents ranging from innocent mistakes to targeted attacks that have claimed livesand cost millions of dollars.
 
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On January 29, 2013, alse mes-sages were posted to Twitter stat-ing that the Department o Justicewas investigating the computerhardware manuacturer Audience,Inc. Shortly thereater, the compa-ny’s stock value dropped sharplyby more than 25 percent. Two dayslater, similarly aked tweets about apharmaceutical company coincidedwith a sudden, 9 percent drop in itsvalue. In both cases, the abricatedmessages were sent rom accountsimpersonating well-known nancialanalysis rms.
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Hoax Twitter AccountReal Twitter Account
 
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Building trust through understanding technologies, identifyingvulnerabilities, and developing best practices does notrequire that the technologies or the people using them betrustworthy. Instead, it enables users ranging from individualsto government agencies to trust that they have the informationnecessary to make informed decisions about when and howto use these technologies effectively.
individuals to government agencies to trust thatthey have the inormation necessary to makeinormed decisions about when and how to usethese technologies eectively.
How to Use Social Media
The social media ecosystem includes agrowing number o online platorms, suchas Facebook, Twitter, and Sina Weibo (i.e.,a Chinese social networking site similar toTwitter and Facebook), that enable individualsand organizations to broadcast inormation,engage in ongoing conversations, or passivelycollect inormation posted by users.Broadcasting, where a message is sent toa group o users, puts the “social” in socialmedia. Twitter is a great example o thebroadcast-centric design o social mediaplatorms. Unlike point-to-point communica-tions systems like email or text messages,there’s no
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eld in a Twitter message; eachtweet is, by deault, broadcast to every-one who is “ollowing” that user’s messageeed. The conusing ormat o many Twittermessages is the result o conventions devel-oped to insert common point-to-point mes-saging eatures that were intentionally omit-ted. For example, using an @ ollowed by ausername indicates that, even though a tweetis being shared with everyone, it is intendedor a particular user (e.g., “Hey @nkd, lovedthe chicken picture!”).The broadcast nature o some social mediaplatorms can lead to conusion, as took place when a Christmas dinner photo othe Zuckerberg amily, including Facebook ounder Mark, was “leaked” to Twitter. Mark’ssister Randi posted the photo on Facebook,where it was automatically broadcast toher group o riends and made available tothe riends o those riends. One o thoseriends-o-riends assumed that she was ableto see the amily photo because the picturewas public. She then re-posted it to Twitter,where it quickly went viral, much to the cha-grin o Randi Zuckerberg.
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Social media also enables engagementbetween a wide population o users. It is

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