Left to right: Adweek's Mike Chapman and Jimmy Wales Photo: Nancy Lazarus

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Wikia.com, talked about trust and community in an interview with Adweek editor Mike Chapman during the second day of Adweek’s Social Media Strategies conference in New York on Thursday.

Wales believes that humanizing the communities on the Internet is a solution to increasing the level of trust online. “One of the principles of trust that Wikipedia uses is to assume good faith,” according to Wales. “It turns out that most people are decent and fewer are malicious.”

Wales added,” When people answer their edits, they realize the human dimension, and the community cares if you do a good job.” He contrasted that with newspapers’ online reader comments, where “people are often badly behaved since they are interacting with a giant entity.”

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