Filtering Bad Information and Focusing On Quality Information
When we search the internet we end up reading a lot of information. My biggest problem is making sure that the information comes from a reliable source.
Given how much content is created on the internet it becomes a difficult task to make sure that what you are reading is from a reliable source.
In my case I validate information in the following way.
Family and Friends
The larger the network of family and friends you have the easier it is to filter out if something is true or not.
Look at Reliable News Sources like CNN
If CNN confirms it is true then I have to take their word for it. I have never received important news from CNN to later have found out that they misinformed me.
Your Contacts in Social Networks
News spreads like wildfire on social networks but we have to be very careful even with some of your contacts. I try to validate information with those on my contact networks if most of my contacts concur. I also have to state that I am thinking that you have done a good job filtering your contacts on social networks.
This site keeps a central repository of urban myths and internet meme that have spread around giving you in depth information on the validity of the information and the background of each story. It will quickly tell you if they are still verifying the story, if it is a true story or if it is a complete hoax.
Places where you have to be careful and false information is put there on purpose.
Hotel and Restaurant Reviews
More than a good share of hotels and restaurants publish false information on themselves or a competitor to get an edge when people read reviews and decide if they should stay or not. If you are still not convinced on how invalid these reviews are take a look at this humorous site identifying some of the most ridiculous reviews you can read online.
Recommendation: If you are visiting a location ask via social media or your contacts to see what they recommend there is no better review than one that comes from a source you know.
I have seen people do strange things on Book reviews to hurt a published author. Overall reviews are open to the public and sometimes they are misused to hurt or benefit someone.
Recommendation: If you are going to buy something or even a book look at what your reliable sources say about it.
I have seen many blogs that are sponsored by providers of products and services. This happens often and these bloggers play in between the gray line of disclosing the relationship they have with those who are endorsing them and convincing there readers that they fell in love with there product and service.
Recommendation: When you read a blog post on a product take a look if the blogger discloses what type of relationship they have with that organization. I personally disclose all my relationships on my about page and if I have a business relationship I disclose it on the blog post at least once. If you see a blogger for no reason is endorsing a product and not being transparent ask him about it and see what reaction you get from him. If he does not disclose his relationships adequately he might be in violation with the FTC.
How do you validate information online? What are your favorite sources of information? Which ones do you recommend others to stay away?
Please share with us!
photo credit by aslakr