The great thing about the Internet is you can research everything online. The horrible thing about the Internet is you can research everything online. It’s the Wild West and the onus is on you to make sure the information you’re getting is trustworthy.
I’ve been taken in by false stories on the Internet. Have you? If the story comes from someone I trust, I’m more likely to assume that it’s true and pass it on but I’ve learned to check the source first.
As ‘The Trust Architect’ it’s important I don’t spread falsehoods therefore I’ve taken the time to learn what is real and you should too.
Look at the Internet address where you are getting your information. Does it end in ‘.org, .com, .biz, .net, .gov, .mil, .ngo, .info, or .edu’?
What they mean
- com– commercial
- org– organizations
- edu– educational
- gov– government
- net– network infrastructure
- mil – military
- nom– private person
- ngo– NGOs (Non governmental organization) – a non profit, voluntary citizens group
- info– information
If they are educational, government, military, NGO or information sites they have a higher chance of being true.
So now you know a little bit more about the sites based on their address but that still doesn’t tell you the complete story. If you want to pass on trustworthy information you have to dig a little bit deeper.
Before you retweet, share or post, do some checking. Here are some suggestions:
- Check out the organization and the writer to see if they are legitimate. Is the author of the article well known and respected?
- How does the information compare with reliable news sources? If no one else has reported it, then do a deeper check.
- Look for biases. Check for conflicts of interest. Example: Is the source reporting soft drinks are the key to longevity a supplier to that industry?
- Check for links and citations that support the claims made by the writer and verify them. Look for a couple of credible sources that can support the information
If you’re not willing to do any of this because it’s too much work, then don’t retweet, share or post the information.