My reflections on Mike Caulfields’s strategies and something more
This post applies Mike Caulfield’s strategies of web literacy to examine the reliability of web content,and is followed by the reflections on web sources.
I will first begin by saying that what makes Mike Caulfield specific and worth mentioning when we talk about the reliability of internet sources is that he was the first to call the things people do to come closer to the truth “the moves”. For this assignment I choose a story about a women in Indonesia,or to be precise Southeast Sulawesi who was swallowed by a giant python.
As can be expected, I instinctively had a strong emotional reaction to the headline.I was interested in my reaction and then it was explained to me in the Caulfield’s book “Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers”. It said that what I am feeling was common and that in those situations we are advised to do some research before deciding to share that information.This information inspired me to visit some websites I find reliable.On BBC’s official website I discovered that the information was indeed true.There were also a statement from the local police chief who said that”residents were suspicious the snake swallowed the victim,so they killed it,then carried it out of the garden” and then he added that”the snake’s belly was cut open and the body of the victim was found inside”
What made me particularly sad was the thought that the women whose name,according to the source ,was Wa Tiba was only at the wrong place at the wrong time.She was just checking on her vegetable garden.To make the effect even stronger,the website gave the information that after a searh conducted by local people,a day later her sandals and machete were found with a giant python with a bloated belly only 30m away.
To further check this,I visited the National Geographic website.It gave the same information with the addion of another incident when a 25-year-old man was swallowed whole by a reticulated python and what is interesting is that is also happened in Indonesia.On the same website I found some opinions on experts as to why and how it happened.
How it happened?
1.Max Nickerson from the Florida Museum of Natural History says that”they stop the hearth” and “that it is amazing how fast it happens”
2.Scott Boback ,a vertebrate ecologist at Dickson College in Carlisle claim that this species is an “ambush predator” that is to say instead of seeking out for prey it lies in wait for its victims to walk by.
Why it happened?
Experts claim that the attack happened as a result of the deforestation from the country’s palm oil industry which made the attacks more likely by killing the snake’s other pray and removing their natural habitat.
To sum up,this is how I did my research and came to the conclusion that this story is in fact true.
The two questions:
1.Why do we trust some sources more than others?
When it comes to this question,I can only speak for myself.For me there are some important factors that are directly related to why I trust some sources more than others.For me,it is of essential importance that the source gets every single detail right,which I can say is accuracy.Secondly,it is important that I have all the news on time,otherwise what is the point?The third reason why I look for information on sites like BBC or CNN is that they require the highest level of clarity from their reporters.These are the crucial differences between some unreliable sites and those that have a reputation.Also,I must add it depend on what kind of news I am looking for,so for example for the news on the python swallowing a human victim a reached for a National Geographic site.
2.Why do you think that newspapers have such a good reputation for truthfulness and care compared to the average online site?
I think that have a good reputation because when it comes to the unreliable sources on the Internet everyone can express an opinion about something,whereas all the articles in the newspapers have to be approved by someone which makes them reliable sources,with the exception of tabloids of course whose main purpose is to sell the news by blowing it out of proportion.
3.How do we make sure we are not excluding valuable sources?What are the dangers of a diet of news from only one type of source.
We make sure we are not excluding valuable sources by always checking several sources that we think are reliable. The dangers from a diet of news is sharing false information.