Online Verification

Verify online sources

Verifying web sources online isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are multiple things you have to research so that you can properly verify a web sources.

Naturally, humans assume the more education you have, the smarter you are. This is the same for online web verification.

In one of our Mass Media Fundamentals classes, our professor arranged a lecture, via video chat, with a guest speaker named Mike Caulfield.

Caulfield discussed with us the importance of verifying sources online and many other things. One of the examples that he talked about was an experiment using certified Historians, who had a large amount of education in their background, university students who were considered top of their class and average people. The presentation that Caulfield demonstrated to us had the last participants categorized as “critical thinkers”.

The experiment was to see how these participants evaluated a specific website given to them, and how they used the remainder of the internet to critically evaluate said website as reliable or not.

Caulfield gave us the results of the experiment. The critical thinkers all successfully identified the website as unreliable. Meaning that you don’t have to be top of your class or submerge yourself into twenty years of schooling so that you can be develop the skills needed to find credible sources online.

Thinking critically means being able to identify if something is accurate. This involves researching a subject, analyzing the subject, evaluating it. Then you will be able to form an informed opinion on the topic.

A simple way to identify whether or not a source is credible is looking at the URL. If the URL says EDU in it, then it is, usually, a credible source to cite.

Footnotes are generally not a reliable sources of information. Footnotes are good to use to find where the author of the article or piece got their information from. You should follow the links provided within the footnotes and double-check that the sources the author used are reputable and are facts, not someone’s opinion.







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