#26 in a series of background briefs

Attributes of the most-trusted websites

• Most large newspapers in the free world have all of these attributes.

Social media platforms have none of these attributes.

Want to create a trustworthy website?

All of the attributes listed below are a matter of choice, not a matter of luck.

Every attribute enumerated here is attainable by any website creator who makes no other component more important than credibility.

 

10 attributes

1. The website has a sterling reputation for never having published even one doctored photograph that was implied to be undoctored. (Most viewers will forgive one slip-up if it is well-explained, but after two slip-ups, regaining credibility can be difficult.)

Providers (including photographers) who want to be “trusted” must consider each new addition of content before it is published, asking what that addition will do to the provider’s reputation.

2. The website is “carefully curated” — that is, the website publisher is always aware of every piece of content on the website.

3. The website publisher publishes a written correction or apology for any untrustworthy or incorrect items previously posted on the website.

4. The website publisher is legally liable for all content on the website.

5. The website publisher makes site visitors aware of any outside or unseen influence that visitors would want to know about (for example, “sponsored content,” advertisements that look like editorial content, subsidies supplied to the website or its contributors, etc.).

6. Site visitors can readily find out the real name of persons who generate content on behalf of the website publisher.

Without the publisher’s specific approval of each individual example,

7. no one can add content,
8. no one can alter content,
9. no one can hide content, and
10. no one can delete content.

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Why does the absence of these attributes render social media less suitable for the “Guaranteed TCQ” label?