Sani Marc Group’s virtual magazine

Should you believe what you read on the Internet?

There is so much information on the internet but the internet lacks an editor. How do you assess the quality of the information you are reading?

Is there Transparency?

One element that is key to assessing quality is transparency. There is no such thing as an unbiased viewpoint. Everyone has a frame of reference or background that shapes interpretation and reporting of facts. I live in Southern Ontario and today I have experienced mild weather of about 6 C. However if this was July I would not be describing this weather as mild. If you understand my frame of reference you can better qualify my statement.

Transparency regarding information on the internet means there should be clear indication of the author of the information. Review the author of the information and understand does their background history or current employment lead them to interpret facts in a certain way. This is not an accusation of malice but it is the natural consequence of being an individual.

In my own case I am a chemist with product development experience so you should expect I have a pre-disposition of seeing chemicals as potentially positive materials so I will recommend cleaning technologies with proven performance and a sustainable environmental footprint. Since I am a chemist with product development experience however you can also look at the information on cleaning technologies as coming from someone with knowledge of the matter under discussion.

Therefore look to the Transparency of the source of information. Understand their frame of reference to assess the quality of the information.

Is there a Date of Authorship?

Why is the Date of Authorship important? Knowledge is always increasing. Information once thought to be valid can later be shown to be incorrect. As the date of the information becomes stale, the reader should be looking for other opinions or evidence that support or argues against the stale information. The internet is also very good at recycling information and making it look like new content. Without a date attached to the information you can't be sure of the quality of what you are reading.

For example at one time it took many days to travel from North America to Europe. Reviewing a steamship schedule from the last Century would give you a false understanding of how long it would take you to travel there today.

Therefore look to the Date of Authorship of the source of information. Understand if the information is still relevant to your decision making process.

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly