A growing disenchantment with politics, boycotts against big business, and a creeping sense of paranoia regarding the onset of permanent threats: the basis of trust in central institutions is breaking up. Today, information spreads quickly and widely. Everyone can be a receiver and sender through the use of social networks and blogs, for example. This makes it possible for anyone to publicise grievances such as alleged misbehaviour in the fields of business and politics. The danger is that it could lead to a flood of contradictory news reports in which it’s impossible to separate truth from lies. The mistaken or deliberate dissemination of misinformation is not a new phenomenon. However, the wide range of sources that people use for information and the invisible network of interests behind them have made people more sceptical. There is a growing desire to remove oneself entirely from political and economic interests. At the same time, the need for self-protection has transferred to the realm of digital identity. Big institutions’ lack of transparency lends a boost to the idea of living anonymously and makes the internet the first barrier to surveillance. As a counter trend to the information society, the Distrust Society will raise the concept of credibility to the key aspect of public communication and interaction between individuals and institutions over the coming years.
These are the macro-trends of the Distrust Society:
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