• ISSN: 2155-7950
  • Journal of Business and Economics

Social Media and Trust — A Systematic Literature Review

Peter Håkansson, Hope Witmer
(Malmö University, 205 06 Malmö, Sweden)
Abstract: The role of trust has long been acknowledged among economists and political scientists. It is often argued that high levels of trust among people help promote democratization, economic activity, well-performing institutions and low levels of violence. Social media has been identified as a significant vehicle in fostering social connections however the depth and significance of these connections to the creation of trust has not been well developed. According to Robert Putnam trust derives from reciprocity that is learned only in cooperation with others. Putnam is skeptical of a positive relationship between trust and digitalized social media. According to Uslaner trust is a moral issue established by family relationships early in life and therefore use of social media has no impact on creating trust. This paper is a structured literature review. The aim is to investigate if trust can be created by connections on digitalized social media. Eight articles emphasized a positive relationship between social media and trust; two articles claimed no relationship between trust and social media. We did not find any studies claiming there is a negative relation between social media and trust.
Key words: social media; trust; internet; digital communication
JEL codes: A12, A13, Z13

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