TAOI: A Taxonomy of Trust

The architecture of information:

The Trust Project is a consortium of news organizations that aims to “build a more trustworthy and trusted press.” They’ve defined a taxonomy of “Trust Indicators” to help add context to news stories so readers can get a sense of where the information is coming from. The taxonomy consists of eight core indicators:

  • Best Practices
  • Author/Reporter Expertise
  • Type of Work
  • Citations and References
  • Methodology
  • Local Reporting
  • Diverse Voices
  • Actionable Feedback

These indicators in turn have attributes that account for such details as the publication’s corrections policy, its ownership structure, authors’ area(s) of expertise, and so on. The full list is available in the Trust Project’s website.

As part of its initiatives to fight fake news, Facebook has said it will begin adding these credibility attributes to news stories. This should allow its users to make more informed decisions about their sources for news.

Improving contextual awareness is always a good thing. I hope this initiative helps curtail the spread of misinformation by increasing transparency.