|Knowing who created a Web site is
one thing. Trying to identify the reason the Web page was created is an even more important factor in judging its
content. Determine if the
main purpose of the site to
inform, to persuade, or to sell you something.
Another thing to look for is the site's intended audience.
- Keep in mind that marketing and opinion can both be
- Individuals who have a point of view or a product to sell
are not usually trying to deceive you, but they may not be objective.
An important, if difficult, question to ask is "What is not being said?"
- Scholars exchanging information with their colleagues will
use a different vocabulary than they would when trying to make their
ideas accessible to the general public.
- Even if a page simply provides facts,
simplification can distort them.
- On the other hand, if the language is too technical, it won't do you any good if you can't
- Political, religious, and social advocacy groups are
notorious for "cherry-picking" or selectively presenting only the facts
that support their cause.
- Scholars just might be guilty of that, too.