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My Trust Issues with the Internet

May 27th, 2010

In today’s lesson we examined various websites and how to verify the accuracy of information contained on them. Although truth is subjective, I think it is fairly safe to say that the internet is full of purposeful lies, creative “news,” and propaganda. When doing research it is important to know how to sift through the crap and leave only the “reliable” sources (without getting into any philosophical ramble about truth.)

I learned today that this “Martin Luther King” website is actually run by a white supremacist group. It looks like a very simplistically designed website that would give Elementary school students basic information on Martin Luther King, Jr. When you click the links, you actually get racist propaganda. This is extraordinarily sick. This type of site probably wouldn’t be blocked by any sort of parental controls, it is a seemingly innocent url, and the main page gives you no inclination of the racist information contained on the links. I can definitely see this site luring in children working on a project about Martin Luther King, which truly makes me want to vomit. The authentic site on Martin Luther King, Jr. is here .

There are some websites that are obviously not truthful or authentic. You can usually tell by their amateurish appearance and horrific grammar. Obviously blogs and other opinion articles would not be used in an academic paper, but some sources that appear to be “authentic” and “scholarly” are just people who have spent a lot of money designing their site, only to fill it with misleading or untruthful information. Today I learned to research the sources of the site to determine the author’s credibility before citing their material. In the past, I didn’t really take the time to do this. Just to be safe, I would stick to the University’s library databases in order to avoid inaccurate or misleading information. I can now expand my research horizons because I know how to carefully screen information found on the web for authenticity.

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