Is Information on the Net Reliable?

Topics: World Wide Web, Internet, Website Pages: 2 (749 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Is Information on the Net Invalid?

In his essay, "Picking Nits on the Net," John Oughton reminds Internet users that information on the Net does not have a guarantee of authenticity, so it must be carefully evaluated. Oughton gives some examples and also provides some useful advice on evaluating information on the Internet. Oughton's writing is well supported by reasonable arguments, informative and very useful, and the examples that he uses are commonly encountered by most Internet users; however, sometimes he understates the advantages of valuable information on the Net.

Some examples that Oughton uses to support his claims are very reasonable. As we can see in his thesis, he states that in this computerized era, people should be critical in evaluating any information on the Internet. To support that argument, Oughton gives some reasons. First, he says that information we get from the Internet is not reliable, with no assurance of its credibility. It is really true since people with whatever background of knowledge can write and design nice looking Web sites and it is easy to disseminate any information by using the World Wide Web. Second, he also states, "all information on the Internet looks equal" (463). In particular, when surfing the Net, we might find that at first sight, some information really looks similar and real, and usually we do not think about its quality rather than its quantity. Indeed, misleading information and fake images might trick even skeptical persons with its good quality. It was not so long ago, when I came across some sites intended to attack certain people, beliefs, or organizations that I realized how irresponsible information could really be harmful. For that reason, I agree with Oughton that " the unexamined site is not worth believing" (462).

Moreover, Oughton's writing is very informative and useful to Internet users. For example, when he gives some guidelines for surfers to surf the Net by suggesting...
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