In the previous chapter I explained how our current information systems are predominantly used. I will now discuss a few options, which are in use and will implicate a certain level of transparency. Finally I will speculate on how these measures could be further implemented and used as a method for guarantying online authority.
The model of transparency desired is witnessed now on (social) blogs, as well as on social sites like Instagram and YouTube. In the determination of the level of the truth of proffered material, the designs of online and offline media will interact with each other as multimedia sources of information. The interaction between the two types of interface creates an active response from the semantic web, in which the content is user involvement. The interfaces are then able to create a kind of interaction between immediacy and hypermediacy, as the user becomes an integral part of the content. But this user involvement with the content may take away control over it by the person who produced it. It may infuse the user with the suggestion that he or she exerts influence over what he or she perceives as well. Information is created collectively rather than hierarchically: see for example the use of grassroots journalism. The content that is shared by people present at the occurring event becomes a continuum in the ‘papers’ of the interactive website. There are different ways in which the interaction creates content.
One version is content co-produced and continuously updated by its users, through their footage and comments. This means that the press is losing control over what is published. It redefines the role of the journalist at the same time, as people in- and outside of journalism are able to check, intervene with and criticize the journalistic work. But fake footage uses those same semiotic aspects. Since the truth is perceived as the result of the algorithm, of most read, liked and shared, more and more information is actively being eliminated, creating content that is powerless against the ‘truth’ of the majority. Content that is shared quickly loses its quality and sometimes even credibility, but with growing qualitative technologies, the number of people that are able to create content have increased, as have the number of discerning users.
The image has become a power medium, that constructs and destroys truth, depending on the interface with which it is consumed, as a conflict between the rhetoric and linguistics symbols of its surroundings. If the intent is to assure the content is more transparent, the interface should facilitate options in usage to the user, in order for him or her to reach that goal. This should take into consideration how the user uses the interface, how information is read on the interface as well as in depth, and in which way the user can suggest new content, without making unwanted connections, due to the algorithm ascribed to the users.
This paper explains how digital expression by image and text is easily misinterpreted and manipulated. The editorial process of the journalist can be reproduced, placing incoherent and trustworthy information on an equal level as correct information . The design of the black and white space, in which we are trained to intake information from an early age on, is an artefact of what we are used in accepting as delivering truth. Electronic ‘’text’’ mixes word, image and sound in new ways and thus draws on different (neural) aspects of our interpretation. The way how an online interface communicates affects the interpretation of authority and in so affects the trustworthiness of repurposed journalism. It asks for an interdisciplinary inquiry, in which the model of the interface encourages the interchanged publication. In that way the multicultural perspective, defined by the users personal rhetoric and linguistic dominant symbols, together with the timescale of the article, redefines the authoritative power and in so the worth of the article.
The internet isn’t as democratic as we would like to believe. Even though the different platforms provide a multi-dimensional view on the content we wish to receive, it is still mainly created by those who are able to execute the means of power, needed to gain visibility on websites. What we perceive as news is never neutral, nor free from any type of ideological manipulation. That is one reason why many choose to listen and follow. The one thing such a user of news content is expected to do, is to directly interact with what is being told. Regard this as a kind of skill a user needs to learn. People are becoming less devoted to a certain mindset, when using a single source to attain information. Their personal opinion becomes their ‘gatekeeper’, not the anonymous person providing the content. The possibilities that the interface is giving the user the option to move freely through the content, and react when the need arrives. This interacting by the user is accomplished by the way the creator is creating image, writing text and ultimately, by reason of its perceived trustworthiness. The internet is a mess, but we love it. Scrolling through content, experiencing the content and in essence just figuring out that, what we perceive as the truth is trustworthy and, if so, share it as our social capital. By our personal preferences in design.