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Reliability of Information on the Internet

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When the Internet started out years ago, you could believe a lot of what is on the internet. There was no myspace, no facebook, no blogspot, not even a PEIinfo! Now a days, companies like Google are changing the way things work.

For ever and a day ago, it was all about content being king. The more content you had, the better ranking you'll have on Google.

Then new stipulations were added. People and companies realized that content was no longer the only priority. Credibility was. So companies like Google decided that if 100's of websites are linking to another website, then that website should be deemed credible and moved to the top of the Google list. Then other stipulations were added like, Google PR. How many websites are linking to those websites that link to XYZ website?

If a lot are, then it is listed near the top since Google would consider XYZ's website credible.

As time goes on it is becoming harder and harder to determine how credible a website really is.

Anyone can create a website by signing up for something as simple as blogspot. Last year, ISN's former owner Kevin O'Brien offered a charitable award for the whomever turned into the Political Blogger who is an example of someone who freely spoke his mind. Problem is, a lot of it was hogwash and his comments were far fetched.

Wikipedia is another example. Wikipedia is a massive online encyclopedia and the website allows anyone to edit anything. The problem with that is simply that there's too many users having too much access. Some people may know about the issues with the Pat Binn's page on Wikipedia during the last provincial election where a anti-conservatives continued to edit the page with unreliable content.

The shameful part is that while some people enjoy having such fun and making such changes, it has done little to help the internet and how reliable information is.

Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder, said in 2006 that he received 10 emails a week from just students, or 3560 emails a year complaining that the information the student cited was wrong. While some articles on Wikipedia may be correct, others could be completely wrong and out to lunch.

On the same note though, Google usually lists Wikipedia as one of the top search results on numerous topics. But Wikipedia is merely one website, with millions and millions of websites out there, it is becoming harder and harder to determine whether a website is a reliable source.

For now, I'll continue to use Wikipedia to learn more information however I encourage people to take what they read with a grain of salt.

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