Presentation on theme: "W EBSITE E VALUATION. The internet is full of misinformation, because anyone can publish on it. Although this creates an environment of freedom it also."— Presentation transcript:
The internet is full of misinformation, because anyone can publish on it. Although this creates an environment of freedom it also creates an environment that lacks quality control. This lack of quality control requires the internet user to perform the filtering that is usually done for us in magazines, newsletters, journals, encyclopedias, books, and so on. The majority of published texts have agents, editors, publishers, and professional readers that scrutinize their material for mistakes, biases, or misinformation. The internet does not have this.
T YPES OF HOAX WEBSITES Counterfeit Web sites Parodies & Spoofs Questionable Sites Malicious Web sites Product Sites Subject-specific Misinformation Where to go for help
M ISINFORMATION Misinformation on the Internet is, and always will be, a problem. Anyone can publish on it Lack quality control Does misinformation = wrong? Opinion
C OUNTERFEIT W EB S ITES Counterfeit web sites are the most troublesome of hoax websites. A true counterfeit site is one that attempts to pass itself off as an authentic site.
C OUNTERFEIT W EB S ITES The next two slides (slides 7 & 8) show the home pages of two websites claiming to be the website of the “World Trade Organization”. As you look at the two slides, try to determine which one is the real site. Go to slide 9 and take a look at an article written about the Counterfeit Website.
P ARODIES AND S POOFS Definition: A literary or artistic work that imitates the characteristic style of an author or a work for comic effect or ridicule These sites can cause particular problems when underlying pages are retrieved by a search engine and appear as discrete bits of information
P ARODIES AND S POOFS Often aimed at politicians Because the satire is fairly obvious, there should be little occasion to mistake their content for truth. Unfortunately people often seem more gullible with Web information
The previous slide shows a site that is an ambitious project hosted by the political science departments of the University of Dayton and used in various classes. The site is a composite of various simulations and games developed by social scientists over the past 20+ years. Rutitania was a mythical kingdom with a central European feel created by Anthony Hope in his Prisoner of Zenda and Rupert of Hentzau novels.
Q UESTIONABLE S ITES Is it real? Some sites just make you wonder if people are for real? The author of this article contacted the designer of lip-balm anonymous and asked if they were a real site or a spoof. They responded that they considered themselves to be very real. You decide
M ALICIOUS W EB S ITES Hate sites – too numerous to list Most malicious web sites provide misinformation couched in quasi-academic discourse and subtle or dishonest misdirection about their intentions. Example....
S UBJECT -S PECIFIC M ISINFORMATION Many degrees of misinformation exist on the Web. Deliberate to accidental Serious to comic Obvious to Subtle
S UBJECT -S PECIFIC M ISINFORMATION However, the most severe are in the areas of health and business. Erroneous health information can lead to serious injury and bad business information can result in financial ruin.
W HERE TO GO FOR H ELP The following sites are dedicated to tracking Internet hoaxes. www.nonprofit.net/hoax/hoax.html www.scambusters.org www.snopes.com http://ciac.llnl.gov/ciac/CIACHoaxes.html http://www.vmyths.com http://www.fraud.org/welmes.htm
C ONCLUSION The best protection one can have against misinformation is to adopt a critical stance toward all information on the Web. Pursue the source of the information Always look for obvious clues in the URL A dot-com or dot-org typically provides biased information. The bias may be slight, and may be one you agree with, but its still there. If you encounter a slight deviation in the name, or there is a dot-org when you expected a dot-com – be aware A ~”name” reflects a personal site and will represent personal views only
C ONCLUSION Look for: Comic language Lack of authority Lack of currency Biased view Check suspicious domains
R EFERENCES Piper, S. Paul, 2005. Better Read that Again: Web hoaxes and misinformation. http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/sep00/piper.ht m http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/sep00/piper.ht m http://www.philb.com/fakesites.htm