Misinformation on the Internet
But while we're on the topic ill post this again - the WHO advice on how to asses which websites are meeting good information practices:
Misinformation is an interesting topic. When it is a very concrete lie, it is often the result of sloppy writing or researching. Very few are going to deliberately lie - it is easily verifiable and makes the reader lose trust in you as a source.
What I see much more often is sites deliberately keeping content out of their writing as it does not support their POV. This doesn't bother me too much when it is a independently funded site - ilovevaccines or ihatevaccines can pick and choose what they include in their writings. It is better if they are upfront about their bias, but I don't think there is anything wrong with writing only for the pro-vax or non-vax side if you are clear that is what you are doing.
Of course, some sites or media claim to be neutral and then write pieces that are not - that is a little less acceptable. I like to hope most people can spot this and have high media literacy. I do think younger generations are particularly good at being cynical with media and that is a good thing.
What really makes me is when organisations or individuals in positions of trust and authority (government health sites, schools, etc) whitewash an issue or do not give complete information. If we are expected to be able to look to them for advice and guidance, then it is reasonable to expect the necessary information to make an informed decision. Anything less is an abdication of trust and authority.
Edited by kathymuggle - 8/25/13 at 8:42am