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Are websites trustworthy?

In Mymomsbest online parenting forum, I (the owner and administrator) do not allow the members to share and exchange URLs. This includes the more famous sites like BabyCentre and other breastfeeding related websites.

The reason behind this is because we cannot verify if the information the members obtained are reliable. Moreover, many websites have ulterior motives.

In MyMomsBest, there are a few doctors who are breastfeeding mothers who joined the forum. Therefore, they will help us out by pointing out useful sites for our reading. Personally, I have also been coached by my sons’ paediatrician on how to discern if a website is reliable or not.

Meantime, I found these guidelines on The Canadian Health Network very useful:

Is there clear and adequate disclosure?

* Is the author’s interest and/or mandate in developing and sharing this information clear? For example, is a non-profit organization trying to promote exercise and active living or is a fitness product company trying to sell you exercise equipment?
* Is there potential for bias or conflict of interest? For example, is a company telling you that only their product or service is valuable?
* Are both (or all) sides of the issue presented?
* If not, does the resource state that it presents only one side of an issue? For example, a site that promotes a vegetarian diet should indicate that there are other dietary options, or clearly state that they are only presenting one side of a multifaceted issue.
* Are commercial links and/or sponsorships clearly stated?
* Are these sponsorships separate from the health information content?

I hope to stick to these guidelines as a webmaster and also surfer.

Originally posted 2005-07-15 09:34:58.

This post first appeared on Mom’s Daily, please read the originial post: here

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Are websites trustworthy?


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