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If it’s on the Internet, it must be true…. Internet Basics & Beyond Mrs. Wilson.

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Presentation on theme: "If it’s on the Internet, it must be true…. Internet Basics & Beyond Mrs. Wilson."— Presentation transcript:

1 If it’s on the Internet, it must be true…. Internet Basics & Beyond Mrs. Wilson

2 Why Evaluate Web Sites? Maybe nothing, maybe everything, but you won't know unless you examine the sites you find very carefully. From IBM advertisement, Time Magazine, November 24, 1997 "What's the difference between a little kid with a web site and a major corporation with one?”

3 How many websites are there? Today, there are about 35 million websites on the Internet. By 2014, there'll be an estimated 150 million. Just 52.8% of web users believe online information to be credible. (source: UCLA)

4 The following story is true… Fourteen-year-old Zack was asked to research a unique topic for his history class. Zack knew a bit about using reliable sources on the Internet, so he found some information on a Web page on the Northwestern University site. The topic was unique—Holocaust Revisionism—Zack had never heard of that before, so he decided to write his history paper on "How the Holocaust Never Happened."

5 What Zack saw on the web site… Zack found his "information" from a Web page at, titled "Home Web Page of Arthur R. Butz." Professor!

6 Web is a self-publishing medium This means that anyone with a computer, a modem and Internet access can publish (“upload") a web page or site. Anyone can publish anything and remember, there is no such entity as the "Internet Police."

7 What should you look for? Who sponsored or created the site? –Is the person an expert in the field? –Do they have a hidden agenda in developing and maintaining the site? –Is there a name on the site and can you contact them by e-mail? By telephone?

8 Perform a “Who Is” search Visit and type in the domain name. You will find out “who” purchased the domain name.

9 Authenticity and Credibility Also related to bias are issues of authenticity and credibility –is the information true, accurate and believable? Establish the credibility of the author –For example, usage statistics for a new drug might be more reliable coming from a government web site rather than those offered by its manufacturer

10 Look at the URL or Address A quick clue as to the source of a web site is the domain (in the URL or "address") For example: –.edu means an educational institution –.com means commercial enterprise –.gov means government agency –.org means organization

11 ~ (tilde) sign in the URL Homepages of individuals are frequently identified by a ~ (tilde) sign in the URL For example:

12 When was the site last updated? Most well-tended sites will clearly state when the content was last updated. Sometimes frequent updating is essential. –for example, news sites or where the information changes rapidly.

13 Check the external links.. External links are like digital threads that come from other sites. Examining a Web site's external links is an important step in validating Internet information. Go to Alta Vista: In the search box type: link:

14 What is the history of the site? Use The Way Back Machine at to see what the page may have looked like previously. This can give you clues.

15 Don’t be fooled… A well-designed and attractive Web site may appear to be more credible; it is certainly no guarantee. A poorly-designed site may actually be very credible. Many online scams are perpetrated from attractive, professional looking Web sites.

16 Today’s Assignment…. You will work in small groups to determine whether a web site is authentic (credible) or not. You will pick a spokesperson who will report what your group has found. Visit our class page to click on your link to access your assigned site.

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