Determine Who Wrote the Page

The first step in determining the legitimacy of Internet information is to evaluate it in terms of authority. You should be able to find answers to the following three questions to establish authority:

1. Who wrote or takes responsibility for the content of the page? Look for the name and contact information (more than an e-mail address) of the author, who may be an individual, or an organization or institution. If no author is listed, you may find out who published the page by shortening the URL. Remove the last part of the web address located to the right of the last slash, and click on search. If you don't get to the publisher's page, remove the next part of the web address, continuing from right to left until you reach the publisher. Does this publisher claim responsibility for the content? Does it explain why the page exists in any way? If not, you cannot determine the authority of the site.

2. What are the qualifications of the individual or group responsible for the page for writing on this topic? See the section on verifying an author's credentials above.

3. Can you verify the legitimacy of the individual or group? Does the person or group exist as they say they do? It should be relatively easy to determine this for both groups who publish online and for well-known individual authors. For others, you may e-mail an individual (if an address is provided) to ask about credentials and legitimacy, but this is not foolproof. Consider anyone whose legitimacy is difficult to establish as a source of opinion, rather than fact.

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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