This last summer, I worked for a man who does landscaping who is in his late 70's and does not want to retire. He does use computers, but not that much. He is a very hard working, and very smart man. He asked one day what I was gonna do with the money he was paying me, and I told him that I was going to buy a computer. We then got onto the topic of the internet. He asked me,"Luke, how do you know what you find on the internet is true?" I was speechless, I never thought about it. Kids like me just grow knowing places like Wikipedia post legitimate info. How would you answer this question, how do we all know that the info people post is true?
Answer by Duodave · Feb 12, 2011 at 02:28 PM
It's true that there's not a lot of safeguards and error-checking on the internet, not a lot of accountability. So anything can be posted anywhere, whether it's made-up predictions from a supposed "time traveller" or actual news from an african nation in a constitutional crisis.
But do I trust the internet? Anyone can buy a card swiper these days you know. How do I know a waiter isn't swiping my credit card for his own purposes when I pay for a meal and he walks out of my sight with it? Or even before we had all these swiping machines there were people that wouldn't shred the carbons that we would run across credit cards. That was just as insecure.
On the other hand, I can put $100 in my paypal account and use it to pay for something online, and it doesn't touch my bank account if it gets defrauded somehow.
I trust the internet, but no further than anyone or anything else.
Answer by YBrammer · Feb 12, 2011 at 03:50 PM
I trust the internet the same way I'd trust any person or company. If a website or person has been know to be wrong or lie often, why would I trust them? If the person is rarely wrong but will admit/fix said mistake when they are, those people I'll trust for information. People also post reviews online, one of the biggest benefits to the internet. Of course some posts could be from the creator of a product but it's very unlikely that'd they'd be able to amass a large enough number to compete with other posters have enough people have tested the product. People who are devoted to what they are doing will often have larger bases than ones who are rarely right. Those people will helpfully respond to customers & keep their product up-to-date.
P.S. As an Ã¼ber-liberal, I must enforce the "often" of the first sentence of paragraph three.. Fox News can spill lies & have-truths without correcting them because they, like Apple (well, Apple of a few years ago), project themselves as a solid brick wall where nothing gets out & everything they do is perfectly correct. This leads their followers down a road where they only trust this one source & any opposing opinion is incorrect/crap.
Answer by TheTechDude · Feb 12, 2011 at 01:55 PM
We don't know that all of the information that people put on the internet is true. Such as when you see a ad saying "you just won" but it you click on it your learn that you didn't win. Sometimes you win a virus. The internet is full of lies. People on this website are all trustworthy people. However some sites that you go on are not truthful. Such as Wikipedia it is not always a valid source at my school they don't let us use Wikipedia, because anyone could go on and edit anything they want. Someone could go and change Bill Gate founding Microsoft to him founding Apple. Someone not knowing any better would then agree with it. So no we cannot trust everything we see on the internet.
Answer by FizzNakLe · Feb 12, 2011 at 07:08 PM
I would've said "How do you know what's in books is true? Or anything else for that matter?"
I can think of many times in university where my text books have been obviously wrong. We're all humans and we're all flawed.
I don't trust anything unless I can find the same information from at least 2 unrelated sources.
Answer by trueb · Feb 12, 2011 at 07:59 PM
How do we know anything is true? we use reason, we analyze the source, we test it, any many other things, yes there is a lot of made up information on the web from people who dont know what they are talking about.
If some one told you the other day they saw a pink pig fly under his own power, would u believe it? if a mechanic offers a free root canal, would you take him up on the offer? if some one said dish soap tastes good, you could test it (in small amounts.) If one weather man said it rained last night in the same area and 4 others said it was a clear stray night sky, who would u believe?
Answer by KylePolansky · Feb 13, 2011 at 08:00 AM
If you really think about, it is hard to know if anything is true. There have probably been some things that your parents or your best friends have said to you that were false. It also depends on what kind of information you are looking at. If it is something common, such as, the names of all the countries, then you should try to find a list that matches to a list on a few other websites. The problem is, new countries are made, and some are split, so one "correct" source might not even be right. As you might know, Wikipedia isn't always correct, but during class we found out that a map on Wikipedia was more correct than a map in the 10 year old textbooks the school has. There are also opinions, which can never be right. If you think about it though, some information even in newspapers can be so bias that it might be a little incorrect or exaggerated. Its hard to tell what "true" information is in general where ever it is.
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