Filtering Out the Lies

The internet is filled with information and every second of every hour of every day, new information is being poured into the forever-growing network.  Whether the source can be from a research scientist involved in finding some new breakthrough discovery to a young child in her school's computer lab, information can be inputted by just about anyone who has the basic know-how of how to use the computer.  However the internet is filled with all kinds of information.  From facts and truths to rumors and lies, all kind of data is being inputted into the network.

For a student trying to write an extensive research paper of some random peculiar topic this turns out to be a disaster since now the internet is one of the most commonly used mediums of research.  Be it for a research paper for your stringent professor, a report for your ambitious employer, or even a presentation for a committee, with rumors and lies floating about in the internet it will be difficult to extract only the truths to your target audience.  However there are a few methods that you can use and as well as help from others that can help you with this tedious task.

The most common method to help you find out if the information that you hold is a fact rather than some made up rumor by an ominous person holding a grudge or maybe it was done completely by accident by a misinformed student or even something that started as a harmless joke by a person who was looking for a good laugh, is the use of cross referencing.  Cross referencing is the first defense for a researcher to weed out the rumors and lies in their internet research.  However it is not entirely fool proof as it may seem. 

Cross referencing relies on the basis that if enough people believe that if a certain data is the truth then the so called data in question must be a fact.  But using this basis today with the knowledge of how it turned out for our ancestors, we know for a fact that this is a rather foolish method to apply to when trying to find out whether if something is a lie or a truth. With the biggest example of how people blindly believed that the world was flat rather than round even though it was proven before them that the world was round by the use of mathematical calculations and scientific observations; because more people believed that the world was flat it was therefore concluded that the world must be flat.

Another method within cross referencing you can use to further purify your data is by cross referencing your information through different mediums such as print.  Again this can only help with the process of filtering your data and is not foolproof.  Nothing can completely remove the information you find on the internet but it is much more work for a person to put their rather poorly researched material onto print as it costs money as to putting false information on the internet is free.

However the best method you can probably use is your own judgment to see whether or not the information that you found is some random rumor or a fact.



June 12, 2010 at 8:23 PM