It looks like the old “It has to be true, I read it on the internet” argument isn’t as popular as some people might think.

A new study this week found that for a number of reasons, almost all Americans have major trust issues when it comes to the content they find online.

(Spoiler Alert: Knowing the reasons for this skepticism can help you overcome it.)

Also, LinkedIn is finally letting users share their feedback on news stories and Foursquare has finally become a social network.

Read about these stories and more in this week’s news roundup.

1. 98% of Americans distrust the information they find on the internet

When it comes to the internet, Americans don’t believe everything they read. According to a new study from Harris Interactive, 98% of Americans distrust information that they find on the internet.

The four main reasons behind this distrust are:

  • 59% are concerned if they see too many ads
  • 56% are worried about outdated information
  • 53% believe the information they consume is self-promotional
  • 45% are wary of unfamiliar forums

Bottom Line: As a business, the last thing you want is for your customers to distrust the information you’re sharing. Is your website outdated or overrun with advertisements? Are your emails or social updates too much about you and not enough about your customers? These are the things that will make people think twice when reading your content and possibly think twice when considering your business.

2. LinkedIn introduces commenting and liking to LinkedIn Today

LinkedIn continues its push toward becoming a much more social network this week, with the introduction of commenting and liking functionality within LinkedIn Today. Introduced last year, LinkedIn Today provides users with an up-to-date digest of top news stories within their industry. This is big news, as up to this point “sharing” has been the only social function provided.

Bottom Line: The introduction of commenting and sharing will not only give users the opportunity to share their feedback and show their peers what stories they are enjoying, it will also give LinkedIn the ability to better personalize the content it provides for its users. Having the ability to see what type of content users are engaging with will let them make better decisions about how they deliver content to their users.

3. Local Updates from Foursquare finally lets businesses communicate with loyal customers

A new feature on Foursquare, gives businesses the opportunity to communicate directly with their most loyal customers. Local Updates, which began rolling out on Wednesday, lets businesses share updates in real-time with users that have checked in at the business in the past. Businesses can share text messages, special promotions, and even photos, which will show up in the newly redesign Foursquare newsfeed for users that are in the area.

Bottom Line: Wednesday, July 18, 2012: the day that Foursquare became a social network. As a consumer I love Foursquare (especially since their most recent redesign). As a business, Foursquare has always lacked a basic functionality of social networks: a way to communicate directly with the people who have checked in and supported your business.

This feature will only be offered to businesses that have been “claimed” on Foursquare, so if you haven’t done so, now might be the time.

4. Washington will be the first state to let voters register on Facebook

After introducing online voter registration to residents in 2008, Washington will now become the first state to offer Facebook registration as early as next week. Microsoft is currently creating the MyVote app for the state of Washington, which is hoping to target younger, more tech-savvy voters. Since online registration was introduced in 2008, 475,000 registrations have been processed, 62% of which are under the age of 34.

Bottom Line: What does voter registration have to do with marketing your business? Well … nothing. But the news does speak volumes about the growing presence social media is having in our lives and the perception that our leaders have on sites like Facebook. This year we’ve seen a presidential tweet chat, a Google+ Hangout about healthcare, and now Facebook voter registration. I don’t think the founding fathers saw this coming…

5. 60% of consumers expect brands to respond on social media

It doesn’t matter where your business is located – if you’re on social media, your customers are going to expect you to respond to them. According to a new international survey that found 60% of consumers expect responses to their social media inquiries “at least most of the time.”  U.S. and U.K. respondents had slightly lower expectations, coming at 48% and 45% respectively.

Bottom Line: To respond or not to respond is no longer a question. If you’re on social networks then your customers are going to expect you to be social, and that means doing a lot more than just sharing content. You may not be able to respond to every comment or tweet and that’s okay, but you do want to make sure you’re monitoring your activity and responding when appropriate.

What news stories caught your eye this week? Tell us in the comments.