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"Ilackasourcism" It is not a word but it has become a huge problem…

Many years ago on a team call with my team, I created a word. “Ilackasourceism” was the word. As a joke, one of the people on the team posted that word to Wikipedia. Of course, Wikipedia, lacking a source for the word took it down. As they should have because it is wholly a made up word that lacks both meaning and a source. I applied it at that time to a specific organization known for disinformation. Disinformation is the information that was pumped into facebook and twitter during the 2016 election. It is how your influence people without having facts.  Facts are quite simply anything that you can verify with a trusted source. Calling a source Fake doesn’t make it an invalid source. It just means that the very act of calling something fake requires verification from a trusted source.

No offense meant to anyone, but a trusted source is not the person uttering the phrase. A trusted source is a validated and verified group, person or poster that presents the information. For example, the Pew Group studies taxes in the US. They publish their report every two to three years. Note, the IRS, the tax organization of the US Government, only published permanent tax data in arrears. Normally the IRS is two to three years behind. So the Pew publication on taxes in the US is going to change radically when the 2018 data is published, and the numbers post-tax cut are verified. For now, we can speculate, but we can’t guarantee numbers other than the ones from 2015.

Disinformation is all over the internet. The other thing I’ve said for years is that the internet is a great ocean of information. But, before you consider it a viable source of information, I would like you to apply the following test.

  1. Can you find it in more than one location?
  2. Does the poster include a link to the data? Link to the Pew Charitable Trust Facttank here).
  3. Is one of the locations liable or bound by law? In other words, if they publish something incorrectly can they be sued?

Just those two questions remove a lot of the internet (my humble opinion – upwards of 97% of the published information on the internet, including my opinion published here). Some experts live with information that is unique to them. You know because you go to them. Most of us don’t try to fix our computers (I do, but that’s different it is my field of knowledge). I don’t try to do plumbing repairs at home. I have a great plumber who always does an awesome job.  Find a source that you can trust. Verify that source has good information. When you share information from that source, don’t be a devotee of the cult “Ilackasourceism.”

Disinformation only harms those who don’t know to look but verify.

Let’s go back to the rules for using information from the internet there is one last rule. It is probably the most critical rule of all. The next time you decide to use information from the internet consider the following. Climb to the top of a ladder with a platform 30 feet above the internet. Now, before you trust the source, you have to be willing to jump into the Ocean that is the internet headfirst from that platform. Does that make it easier to look for better sources?

  • Do you check the sources of information on the internet?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you always validate sources?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you always validate sources?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you understand the danger of Disinformation?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you always validate sources?

    • Yes
    • No
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What do you think?

5 points

Written by DocAndersen

I am a long time blogger and technology poster.I focus on what is possible, but I also try to see what is coming. In recent years I have been focused on sharing the memories of my family, as part of my Family History Project.

22 Comments

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  1. If we believe everything on internet, Jackie Chan would have died more than 2 time already … lol

    But yeap, I don’t verify source if they’re posted on reputable News sites … but I don’t trust local Newspaper on local news. Funny, huh? > Because Propaganda. I would believe what other country’s research on my country more. LOL.

    Anyway, this is a good reminder. We should all be verifying and thinking about what we read.

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