Validating internet information

In what is still a relatively new medium, the codes and signifiers of what constitutes a reputable source are still somewhat muddy, which is in part why fake news stories have been able to outperform mainstream media in terms of Facebook shares.

Medical information and healthcare advice abound on the internet, both genuine, science-based information as well as spurious and fake.

Look for a complete and comprehensive presentation of data and facts.

Read the information objectively to determine if the information is presented in a balanced, reasonable and unbiased manner.

However, it remains challenging for the lay person to know whether the information they glean from such a system is valid or whether, in the parlance of the modern political vernacular, it is "fake news".

This might not matter so much when the information pertains to celebrity gossip, but it is important in the political realm, and very often a matter of life and death when the subject is medicine.

Note any conflict of interest that may have influenced the assertions by the writer.

Many commercial, academic and government websites provide access to information, services, products, laws and advice.

No system of checks and balances are available to assure users of the accuracy of information found on the Internet.

It might even be possible for the algorithms employed to differentiate between valid statements and ironic ones that might, with earlier approaches, be confused. DOI: 10.1504/IJWET.2019.100344 This document is subject to copyright.

Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission.

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