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People turn to the internet to get answers to their questions everyday. But where do you look on the internet when you no longer trust the information you find?

A leading mobile forum app Tapatalk (iOS, Android) released a consumer survey today detailing a growing disillusionment with information found on social media.

Nearly 74 percent of surveyed consumers told the company that they think the integrity of social media platforms like Twitter (iOS, Android) and Facebook (iOS, Android) has diminished, according to a press release. The lack of trust has sparked a resurgence in the popularity of specialized forums.

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More than half of surveyed consumers said they prefered to interact with independent forums over social media sites. More than 70 percent said that they found the forum information more trustworthy.

It's important to note that forums like Reddit (iOS, Android) and Quora (iOS, Android) are not specialized forums.

Trusted information from forums is important to users, according to the survey, and some think the contributors should be compensated. A whopping 90 percent of responders said that they would be more likely to share their expertise if they were rewarded or paid.

The growing disillusionment with information on social media is likely the result of widespread coverage of "fake news" since the 2016 US presidential election. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook were accused of allowing misinformation to spread before and after the election.

Users might feel safer on forums when trying to get information because of the niche quality of the content. Content on Facebook or Twitter can be about almost anything and has the chance to get a high volume of traffic. The more you use Facebook, the site tends to suggest and show pages that reinforce your beliefs and interests.

Trolls sometimes stay away from specialized forums because they are so specific. With topical experts contributing to niche websites and forums, it's less likely that misinformation would go unseen. In topical forums, regulars sometimes shut down trolls or moderators ban them.

"As the original form of social media, forums continue to be the most common and trusted place for those with questions to find answers - though there remains much room for improvement," Winter Wong, CEO of Tapatalk said in the press release.

Along with users policing the accuracy of forums, Tapatalk said that blockchain technology could further improve the security. The company said blockchain technology could facilitate a more seamless mobile forum experience and increased user engagement.

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Takeaways

  1. Today, 74 percent of surveyed consumers think the integrity of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook has diminished, according to a Tapatalk app survey.
  2. Users are instead turning to specialized forums for more reliable information.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.