The Credibility of The Internet

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A decade ago libraries were considered to be the abode of knowledge and information for anyone who sought to go beyond what was classroom teaching. Fast forward a couple of years, and they have become obsolete establishments except for a select few who are paperback enthusiasts. With the revolution internet and computing brought in, giving people access to a vast range of data and information; there doesn’t really exist a reason why one should physically travel to a different place to obtain what might be just a few clicks away. That isn’t the purpose of this article though, do you blindly trust what you read online? Who guarantees the credibility of everything that is up on the websites?

In most cases, information found on the web has not been checked for accuracy. While publishing a book is a lengthy process which involves drafting, compiling, proof-reading and finally releasing it to the markets; almost anyone can write on the internet without having the burden to verify information or take responsibility of the consequences which may follow. Most of the articles are opinionated voices rather than informed statements aimed to sway audiences instead of educating them.

In recent times a case pertaining to “right to be forgotten” was in contention at the German Federal Court of Justice. The verdict stated that Google cannot be held responsible for defamatory content served on a website prior to notice. They went on to add that Google is obligated to take action only if it is notified of a clearly recognisable violation of individuals’ rights.

While this may come as a relief to Alphabet Inc., it raises disturbing questions about the authenticity of everything that is available. Plagiarism has become standard practice, and unbeknownst to many, it is an offence with serious implications. So have racial discrimination and hate speech received an enormous boost due to the unfiltered platforms that the internet provides. This article doesn’t explore the scope of the dark or deep web but instead contemplates if the web which we access everyday fosters much more darkness and malice than the ones which make drugs, ammunition, and other banned substances accessible.

The influence which the internet has on people is tremendous and is considered one of the mainstream platforms of mass media. Revolutions begin and are put through plan online, popular opinion is curated and a lot of ideas and thought processes which were once only remotely restricted spread like wildfire today.

One of the most challenging tasks with regards to moderating the internet comes from its humongous scope and exploitation of technology making anything ‘banned’ a mythical concept. Books could easily be shelved if the printing process was aborted however similar ease isn’t available when we talk about the internet.

With the absence of any competent regulatory body, the onus of the preservation of the sanctity and credibility of the web lies on its users, you and I to ensure that what we value so much today doesn’t become a junkyard of fabrications and misrepresentations tomorrow. 

The Article First Appeared Here

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