In today’s information society, we are flooded by information from everywhere. Then the source criticism is more important than ever. Each person who has access to a smartphone or a computer, is today a publicist and all information is not always reviewed especially when it is published on the Internet!
The easiest way is to summarize source criticism is to think in questions of who, what and why? Information can include unconscious rumors, deceptive marketing or political misinformation.
There is no strict method to go after, it is more of a holistic assessment on case-by-case basis. The most important thing is that you, as a reader or recipient of the information, ask yourself a few questions. The classic criteria are: Time, dependence, authenticity and tendency.
The most important questions you should ask yourself is: Who is behind the information? Is it a private person, political organization, a company or a group with specific interests, you should be vigilant, and the next question becomes particularly important:
What purpose has the text? / For what purpose is it written? Is the informant intending to sell something or do the informant want to influence you in any direction?
Shortly: Who says what to whom and for what purpose?
The next important question you should ask yourself is: When is the text written? If you want to have current information, timing is particularly important. For example, if you want the price on something. If you rather would have historical information old information might work just as well.
Remember that source criticism is especially important when you are seeking information on the Internet!
Text: Lena Wadell