This week’s symposium entailed an in depth discussion into the validity of things online. There are various factors that determine the validity of online content – here is bit of what was discussed by the panel

As an online audience, we need to determine what is reliable and what is considered bias.

Online content that is reliable ticks all the boxes for the following:

  • Sources should be cited and accurate
  •  If stats are presented, they need to be relevant and all values/figures cited
  • Well presented – layout, navigation (Not always an indicator or reliability but gives browser some peace of mind)
  • The date of publication is recent

In terms of bias, that is fairly easy to recognise. When sites are using strong, informal, abusive or insulting language, that is usually one indicator that bias is present. Additionally, if the arguments display lack any logic or are not supported that is also a prime example of someone’s general opinion/bias on a particular topic. Nonetheless, the key indicator of bias in my opinion is the exclusion of an opposing view. It’s pretty obvious, but if someone is only presenting one side of an argument, then the validity of the content must come into question.