A Theory

The other day I spent some time doing research online.  It didn’t take long for me to find the information that I wanted.  Yet, when I tried to verify the information I ran into trouble.  Each site after that contained similar and dissimilar information.  It was a bit like this:

  • Site A said that X was true.
  • Site B said that X was partially true but G was more true
  • Site C said that G was completely false, X was more true, but H was correct
  • Site D claimed that X was not only false but so were G and H
  • Site E claimed that X, G, and H were true but not proven by any federal agency, so they were not to be trusted
  • Site F had items listed that proved Site E’s “expert” was wrong

That’s not to mention all of the people who took time to comment on the various sites.  Several of them claimed to be “experts” and disputed or confirmed the information presented by the site.  It got frustrating and confusing really fast.  Another interesting part was that very few sites cited any sources for their facts.  Several of them when their “facts” were checked with a simple search found the complete opposite of their claim to be true, or that their “fact” didn’t exist at all except on that article.  At the end of it all it only reinforced my theory that 90% of everything online could be considered gibberish.  The rest of it should be taken with a grain of salt, especially if they don’t list any references to their “facts”.

 

Related post:

Judging Information Sources (https://roseylinn.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/judging-information-sources/)

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12 thoughts on “A Theory

    • Smiles Considering I was looking for a natural anti-itch solution for my puppy it was most discouraging. His regular vet recommended an antihistamine pill 1-2 times a day. He only weighs 20 pounds. I want the itch gone not him sleepy, groggy, and grumpy all day. I tried the over the counter hydro-cortisone spray; it smelled like sour milk and broccoli. Not a good combination. I eventually found an answer. I cannot wait for flea season to be over.

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  1. I think you reached a reasonably accurate conclusion. As for sources, they are critical especially when dealing with surveyed opinion. Surveys are definitely not created equal.

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    • I agree not all surveys are created equal and there are a few factors to look at including the questions. It is important to have sources for where “facts” came from; it is also important to cite those sources on the article/blog post.

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  2. Yes. Once upon a time our schools said to keep using encyclopedias – now they let eveyone use wikipedia – which can be a good source… than again:
    Have you seen the Susya article?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susya
    There are TONS of pages dedicated to disputing the validity of just this one page – on wikipedia itself.
    “The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (July 2015)”
    Look at it’s revisions:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Susya&action=history
    UNBELIEVABLE.

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    • I hadn’t seen that article, I have seen others with that disclaimer and a lot of revisions. The reason I suspect is because pretty much anyone can create a Wikipedia account and edit pages, there is no formal review of the information, and even their disclaimer states they make no guarantee of validity. I agree that there is good and accurate information on Wikipedia, and in the footnotes they have their original sources for where the “facts” came from. I have used it as a source (among many) in some blog posts. As I recall in school, and college, we were required to use multiple sources for research papers Wikipedia wasn’t one of them because when I got my final degree they had only existed for a short time.

      Link in comment: Wikipedia General Disclaimer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:General_disclaimer” rel=”nofollow”>guarantee of validity)

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