When Speed Trumps Truth


By Eileen Feretic

The great thing about the Web is that we can get information on any topic, any time, from anywhere there's online access.

The frustrating thing about the Web is that the information may be incomplete, inaccurate, incendiary or even deliberately false.

So how can we find the truth in the almost unimaginable amount of information available on the Web?

Rule #1: Consider the source. Do you know the organization that is publishing the information? Are they known to be a credible source of content? Have you gotten reliable, accurate information from this company in the past?

Rule #2: Do the writers (whether on individual blogs or corporate sites) display knowledge of the subject matter, attention to detail and journalistic integrity? Or are they just out to shock, inflame or confound readers--and rack up page views to attract advertising dollars?

This is an important issue for business and technology professionals who depend on Websites for information they need to make critical decisions for their companies. If you have a business or IT question, do you go to one of the many reputable sites available, or do you go to the one that shows up at the top of your search list--even if you've never heard of them?

Living in a free society, we have the right to read whatever we choose, and we can write pretty much whatever we want on the Web (with a few obvious exceptions). But to act responsibly for our companies, our families and society, we must be conscientious about the content we write and read online. The truth should never take a back seat to speed--or greed.