If you have an issue distinguishing accurate from false information on the internet, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s society, there’s deception everywhere you look, especially on the internet. That’s why it can be so difficult to find honest statistics whether it’s for homework, a meeting presentation, or even just searching for a simple question you had.
I can speak from experience when I say the internet can be a crafty environment. I once saw an article of a famous comedian saying he had passed away and I was deeply saddened as I had watched him for years. I quickly went to his social media and noticed he had made a post several hours after that article was released. It then clicked in my head that I read faulty information and I was so sad to even see if it was authentic. He ended up clearing the air about his death rumors and it probably even boosted his popularity.
Furthermore, you need to make sure you yourself aren’t falling for obvious hoaxes such as me when I let my emotions prevent me from fact-checking the post. A website can say a statistic but if it’s not up to date it’s more than likely false. However, if you were looking for a piece of evidence that correlated with the point you were trying to make for an essay or presentation, this would be considered confirmation bias. You are searching for anything that SOUNDS good for you just so you’re right. Instead, you should be looking for something that is PROVEN to be right from several different sources unlike me who saw one piece of evidence on the comedian and believed it from the start.
In addition, make sure whatever you’re trying to find an answer to is the same answer on several different organizations (as stated before) because your question will be more than likely correct if a variety of organizations and sites have the same response. In order to tell the difference between legitimate and fake sites look at the URL. If it seems to have excessive words that don’t seem authentic such as”.co” after the “.com” then it’s a fake informational website. When I saw the comedian’s supposed death, it was from a fake new york times website called “new york times facts”, which is obviously fake but I didn’t take a few seconds to look at the site’s reliability. If it’s an online post then simply search for the original post and if you can’t find it then it would also be inauthentic.
These were some of the several ways of fact-checking information and if you take a few minutes to confirm them, it will save you the embarrassment of feeling silly in front of your friends. Continue to always check statistics on the internet as the world is getting more deceptive by the day.
Daniel Baeza – University of Chicago Laboratory Schools – DMSF