Individual Trust and the Internet

Authored by: Lisa van der Werff , Colette Real , Theodore G. Lynn

The Routledge Companion to Trust

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138817593
eBook ISBN: 9781315745572
Adobe ISBN:


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The emergence of Web 2.0 technologies and associated services heralded a second generation of the internet emphasizing collaboration and sharing among users. This resulted in a seismic shift in the relationship between individual consumers and firms but also between individual consumers and the internet as a system. Consumers, not firms, became an emerging locus of value production and through the ability to publish and connect with known and unknown others, an emerging locus of power (Berthon, Pitt, Plangger, & Shapiro, 2012). Powered by broad band telecommunications and device connectivity, the intensity of these changes was further deepened by being freed from the desktop to the mobile web. We are more connected now than ever before. The high levels of societal interconnectedness encouraged by the internet have made trust an even more vital ingredient in today’s society (Hardin, 2006). The more recent development of Web 3.0 technology emphasizes ubiquitous connectivity and a machine-facilitated understanding of information that may once more change the locus of activity, value production and control. In order to keep pace with the issues of contemporary society, trust researchers must consider the how trust relationships and perceptions operate and are influenced by the online environment.

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