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Social Trust (Open Source)

Airbnb doesn't sell you a room to stay, that is what the host does. Airbnb sells you trust which is achieved through a platform of social commenting where no-one is anonymous. Everyone is known, named and identified. Anonymity verses privacy is a massive debate of our time which online platforms are tackling in new ways. I DON't think we should launch a platform called '' to solve the problem set by this brief as only the aggrieved would sign up. Rather I would prefer to see open-source the code used by Airbnb and Hailo that make staying with hosts or taking cabs safer so that every platform can include high-end systems that protect their users which are all of us.

Photo of James McBennett
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Open source code for platforms that connect people together in the real world that can benefit from a better establishment of trust between each other.

Code includes Karma scores, automatic emails that request everyone to write reviews and so on.

Explain your idea in one sentence.

Open source project to be used by online platforms that operate real world services to create real world trust. (Similar code used by Airbnb / Hailo)

What is the need you are trying to solve?

Remove the anonymity in services we use every day.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

Everyone who uses services. If you use any service that has Social Trust being used, you will be able to report any misuse in the system fast and easy. If a taxi driver behaves badly or a host behaves badly, Airbnb / Hailo have you covered with the aggressor having something to lose. If you are selling your laptop online through a classified newspaper, or using a dating service or having a plumber to the house, they should all be using Social Trust on their platforms so that we all remain protected. Online platforms would benefit in being able to create better platforms for their users and do so cheaper which will allow social trust to be prioritized earlier in the platform's development. From an agressor's perspective, it should be known that you can't get away with certain things. Certainty that an act is not allowed may reduce/eradicate temptation of the agressor.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

Developers working in Airbnb/Hailo as well as other online platforms who are willing to share the code and make it easily accessible.

Where should this idea be implemented?


How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

The idea is prototyped by Airbnb and Hailo. Now the assumption that need to be tested are 1. Will they share / open source parts of their code that will create this public benefit. 2. Do they have the time to work on this 3. Can the code be plugged into other platforms easily and be carried out by the recieving platforms.


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Photo of Joel Gingery

Thank you for making me aware of this concept, James! Just 'brainstorming' but I wonder if bus drivers or taxi drivers or other similar public employees or even bus routes could have a history/file that is accessed and evaluated in a way similar to the way we now pay at Starbucks from our smartphones?

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