How Much Internet Information Do You Believe?

Discussion in 'Not Sure Where it Goes' started by Cody Fousnaugh, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    NOT, as in the news, but as in medical information, DIY-Repair information and other miscellaneous things?

    I was told by our marine mechanic and the marine office manager, "don't believe everything you read online about boat repair or anything else about boats.

    I was told by a master auto mechanic the exact same thing, but dealing with auto stuff.

    When I told my wife's PCP that we looked on the Internet about something medical, even he told us the same thing, but about medical stuff.

    Now, the thing is, a person can't always see their PCP for everything that happens to them, so they will go online for information. Same goes for auto info and other things. It costs money to have a vehicle checked out, see a PCP or whatever.

    What do you think?

    I do try to use the Internet for information, even though these professionals are somewhat-to-definitely against it.
     
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  2. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Use the internet as a guide only... then research , research, research!!

    My own GP for example like all GP's.. raise their eyes at the ''google search symptoms''... however my friend is a GP, and she told me that only one Medical website out of the thousands in the UK is responsible and factual.. so I use that one..

    As for everything else..youtube videos.. information generally about anything and everything, you just have to do a thorough research, ask , and ask again..never ever follow slavishly the word of the interent.

    Think of it this way .. I'm sitting here bored.. what can I write...oh yes why not write a whole load of BS about how lemon curd mixed with boiled nettle leaves, with a tiny bit of mercury treated my kidney stones in one month. As a a scientist, and previous to that a Doctor of medicine , I am qualified to assure you that you have no need to endure painful surgeries, this treatment is painless and free

    You better believe that someone somewhere is going to read that and try it.. and be very ill indeed

    Just be aware that anyone anywhere can be writing BS... so never believe everything you read on the internet!!
     
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  3. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Veteran Member
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    It is a problem, Cody. These are some of the things I try to do.

    Check whether whoever is posting the information is trying to sell something. I usually ignore those completely. If it passes that test, then look for another source that says the same thing, more than one. Does it make common sense? If it's a recommendation based on some experiment, check who's funding the research. How big a sample did they use?

    I've seen some DIY stuff posted that even *I* know is bad. Some experiments where they only use a handful of people. Some supplements claim such remarkable results, if they really worked, doctors would be recommending them.

    Yes, I happen to think most doctors do try to help people. Who would not want to be a "fixer," and make their patients happy just by recommending something.
     
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  4. Hoot Crawford

    Hoot Crawford Very Well-Known Member
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    Anything advice posted by you or by me should be ignored. But if I need medical info I would go to NIH or maybe WebMD, or perhaps American Cancer Society, etc
    Do you suppose that would help with my gall stones? I'm having surgery in a couple of weeks and if this will make them go away, then I can cancel my surgery.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  5. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Oh yes for sure Hoot....

    In fact as a young student practitioner, and pregnant I suffered from Gallstones myself. I was sceptical at first when an older wiser Homoeopathic doctor suggested this to me, particularly given my condition ..but I was reluctant to undergo surgery as you can well imagine, so I tentatively tried it, and within 2 days no more pain..and after a scan I was stunned to discover that all the gallstones had dissolved like Magic !!





    Warning!!!..for anyone who may be lurking and reading this...it's absolute utter drivel & nonsense, do not try this ever!!!
     
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  6. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    BTW in reality I had my gallbladder removed several years ago... so if you're really having it done, I wish you a fast recovery
     
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  7. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I believe very little of it unless I'm absolutely sure of the source....but then I'm a skeptic.:)
     
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  8. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Just to let you know, Hoot, my wife had gall stones and had her gall bladder removed in 2000 and does fine. I was unemployed at the time, so I was able to help her out at home during her recovery. No wonder she married me the following year! LOL
     
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  9. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Another thing to watch out for...….Reviews. Some people are paid by the company advertising the product, to put on reviews saying how "excellent" the product, whereas it's not. Other reviews can be done by the company itself and make it appear to be someone who used the product.
     
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  10. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    ..yes true, but aside from that remember when reading reviews particularly of a product , that you have people who are employed to make that item or sell it, so it's in their interest to write good reviews.. and equally their opponents to write bad ones..
     
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  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Given that anyone can post whatever they want online, it should be clear that you can’t believe everything you read online. This is particularly true when there is a profit motive but some people enjoy misleading others, and some people are just wrong. Never me, of course.
     
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  12. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    If I'm looking up something on the internet that's important to me than I certainly don't believe the first thing I read on that subject....but will spend time doing research by reading many articles on the subject I'm interested in and then I form my opinion of who I believe is telling the truth, etc.

    If it's a medical issue...even if I think what someone has shared is the truth...I will ask my Doctor about the issue too. If the Doctor isn't in agreement with what I've researched then unless the Doctor can prove to me it would be harmful to try, etc....I probably would go ahead and try it depending on how important this is to me.

    As far as the News I read online...I take all of it with a grain of salt and just let time prove the truth of what is said or the lie. :)
     
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  13. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    I think just use your common sense and logic
    Found some very good tips on the internet that have demonstrations on 'how to'
    As for medical advice, would never go there
     
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  14. Vinny Waccio

    Vinny Waccio Active Member
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    My job for the last 23 years was Chief Information Officer. I not only was responsible for our databases being accurate and up to date but also collecting information for various projects. I also ran an ecommerce website. I took many courses on the internet and the general consensus is that 60% of the information is true. However that referee to the websites that businesses would use and not the forums, especially sex forums were men live their sex lives. In sex forums most lie or exaggerate. In other social forums the percentage of 100% correct information is about 40% because of several reasons. The first is that most people get their information from the internet and do no independent research. Even those that do research will seek the sites that support their beliefs. You can find web sites to support anything these days. Much of what is read and parroted on the internet is old information since proven wrong but it sounds good so it is repeated over and over ad nauseam. We find people setting themselves up as experts with no credentials other than those they made up.

    The other big problem with internet information is that unlike newspapers and books, there is no editor. No one has to prove their sources and justify what they say. They are free to present information as fact just on their say so or make up an imaginary study or report. My job was to sift through the information and fact check them to obtain information that could be proven to be factual and come from a reliable source who is not another posters on the internet or what a friend said.

    In the internet everyone has an opinion. However there are opinions and then there are informed opinions and even the informed ones may be informed by a non factual source. What I did was ignore opinions expressed as what the person feels. Keep in mind that we live in a time where beliefs are treated as facts. If it sounds good and fits into your belief system, it is a fact. That leaved me with the informed opinions and then I would go to their sources and decide if they were accurate. For instance someone may quote a studies results only to find that the sample size was too small to base an opinion on. Others are not done with double blind testing which means that the results can just be coincidental. Others are irrational like saying water causes cancer because everyone who has cancer drinks water.

    There is also opinions which are theory but taken as fact. It was very time consuming to find what I thought was accurate information. Of course there is lots of information that is true like the specifications of a machine. Well, even then there are often mistakes made. The best we can hope for is to chose what makes sense to you and research it yourself and then make an educated guess. Most people are too lazy to research or do not know how or understand the data that came to the conclusion they believe. One example are supplements that your body needs. Someone knows that they need a supplement and then sees it advertised in pill form so they jump to the conclusion that taking the pill will provide the proper amount of the supplement they need. However, they are unaware that certain things cannot pass through the intestine walls well or at all, so that they can be delivered into the blood stream. So these people will tell others about the pills and why they should buy them unaware that they really do not work well.

    In a roundabout way, the correctness of the information is dependent on the ability of the reader to understand how it was obtained. I never use internet information to make important decisions that will affect my life. I also understand that 100 bad reviews does not back a bad product if 10,000,000 were sold. If 1,000 were sold then the product is bad. In the end you roll the dice and pick your own poison. Your level of knowledge and ability to research will allow you to better decide what is accurate or not.

    So back to the main question; it depends. In sex related forums maybe only 20% is true. On WebMD it may be 90%. Keep in mind that in every profession an religion, experts cannot agree. For general information not from forums, 60% being 100% accurate is as good number to go by. When you talk about sites that you have to pay for, that number goes up, but how much depends on each site and their bias.

    I view most information on the internet as entertainment or things to be considered. I would not make life altering decisions based on internet information. So many people posting asking for advice on whether they should divorce of buy this item or another. Most of the time people will comment on something you are considering buying even if they never saw it or used it. As they say, everyone has an opinion and for every factual information you read, you can find one that disagrees. There is fake news, fake studies run by doctors paid by the company running the studies, fake everything. The trick is to know how to separate the chaff from the wheat and even then, you cannot be 100% certain and it comes down to belief which we all take for fact an that leads us back to the problem of treating beliefs as fact. :)
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Applying the same standard to established newspapers today, you will find that much of what is reported as fact is unattributed, attributed solely to anonymous sources, or using another newspaper as a source. It used to be that an article would have to include at least one verifiable source, while secondary sources could be anonymous, although even then, they had to be verified by someone at the newspaper. Now it seems that they just make a lot of this stuff up, or make assumptions if it validates their agenda.
     
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