Human sensors and honest signals

Opinion data generated by humans in real time presents tremendous opportunities. However, big social data will only prove useful to the extent that it is valid. This section tackles the extent to which socially generated data can be used to accurately measure individual and/or group-level opinions head-on.

One potential indicator of the validity of socially generated data is the extent of its consumption for factual content. Online media has expanded significantly over the past 20 years. For example, online news is displacing print and broadcast. More and more Americans distrust mainstream media, with a majority (60 percent) now having little to no faith in traditional media to report news fully, accurately, and ...

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