How Reliable is the Information Available Online?

How Reliable is the Information Available Online?

A few of the most suitable adjectives for the word ‘information’ today includes big, huge, and tremendous. From the ‘bits’ of information that we first had, we have today learnt to tame terabytes, petabytes and zetabytes of data in a second’s time. Though we have learnt to handle huge loads of data, our ability to identify the trustworthiness of data is questionable. Learning is a continuous process and today’s biggest source of learning is the internet. Learning has been a joyous journey for man from the stone-age. That is why we have many new inventions each day.

Information first got passed on as word-of-mouth, later it was documented on the rocks, palm-leaves ad manuscripts and today the internet. As years passed we have learnt the art of lying and everything that was passed on wasn’t, what actually happened. This is where the reliability of information died a sad death. However it is necessary to keep-safe the trustworthiness of data when it comes to news, education, finance, and more. If reliability equates to the New York Times for news updates, then it is thecollegemonk for US education. If it is Goldman Sachs for finance, it is Google for IT. But one sad truth is that we have weighed reliability with big brands.

Information is aimed at educating and letting the world know what it wrongly knew. It is equally important to unlearn as to learn. Though there are thousands of pages of search information for a word that is searched on Google, the most relevant and frequently searched pages only fall in the first page. The relevancy and authenticity of information of all pages in the Google is verified by the Google algorithms. As these robotic algorithms crawl through the pages on the internet, it is left to the humans believe that all the information on the internet is safe, secure and true.

The criticality of information is an important factor when it comes to identifying the trustworthiness of the data. Most information, nearly 85% in the internet and beyond is used for learning purposes. Everything under, over and beyond the Sun are explained in detail. Right-learning is definitely a human right and the makers of the internet, you and me, should be vigilant while leaving any information on the internet for other’s learning. Yes, every bit that you add on the internet is like a step you take on the snow- you’ll be traced and tracked, and held responsible for anything that has marked your presence. In fact, each second of your presence on the World Wide Web adds an impact on your existential history on the internet. That is how you etch your own digital imprint without your knowing.

Your digital-personality is also marked not just on the basis of what you add, but what all you have assessed. So each time you try to retrieve some information over the internet, make sure that you collect it from reliable sources. Open source information including Wikipedia’s is widely accessed by people across the globe and that is where you need to be judgmental in your information collection. Filtering down the information and searching the authenticity of information is essential. The sources of information have to be retrieved and presented. A few of the parameters to judge the authenticity of information includes checking for the author of the page, reputation and previous works of the authors, the support for the author, web-page authority, the reliability of page domains and more. The scope of coverage, authority, objectivity, accuracy and timeliness are other measures that decide the relevancy of information. If learning is your motive, then internet is the best teacher.

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