Web of Deception: Misinformation on the Internet [NOOK Book]


As the Internet has become flooded with untrustworthy information, some of which is intentionally misleading or erroneous, this book teaches Web surfers how inaccurate data can affect their health, privacy, investments, business decisions, online purchases, and legal affairs. Bringing together the world's leading information-age observers, analysts, writers, and practitioners, this analysis reveals the Web as fertile ground for deception and misinformation. These experts provide hard-won advice on how to ...
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Web of Deception: Misinformation on the Internet

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As the Internet has become flooded with untrustworthy information, some of which is intentionally misleading or erroneous, this book teaches Web surfers how inaccurate data can affect their health, privacy, investments, business decisions, online purchases, and legal affairs. Bringing together the world's leading information-age observers, analysts, writers, and practitioners, this analysis reveals the Web as fertile ground for deception and misinformation. These experts provide hard-won advice on how to recognize misinformation in its myriad forms and disguises. Included are an array of tips on how to evaluate Web sites for quality and bias, checklists for navigating the Internet more effectively, and advice for those who have been duped.

Author Biography: Anne P. Mintz has taught online database searching at the Columbia University Graduate School of Library Service. She is currently the director of knowledge management at Forbes, Inc. She lives in New York City.

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Editorial Reviews

Inc. Magazine
The book reads like a herpetologist's tour through a pit of electronic vipers.
Publishers Weekly
There's a vast amount of intentionally misleading and erroneous information on the Web, says Anne P. Mintz, the director of knowledge management at Forbes Inc. To help readers recognize and deal with this problem, she has gathered 10 contributors to write Web of Deception: Misinformation on the Internet. The authors-who range from database experts to consultants to librarians-examine various pitfalls casual Internet users and professionals should watch out for. The subjects include e-commerce fraud, Web sites that "play doctor," identity theft, charity scams and more. One of the book's most revealing chapters is librarian LaJean Humphries's explanation of how to evaluate a Web site. She suggests considering who wrote the site's content, how often it is updated and if the document is well written. A "webliography" lists sites that offer quality information (among them, www.fraud.org and www.charitablechoices.org). Mintz's wise book will be of great help to parents, educators and every Internet surfer. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Edited by the director of knowledge management at Forbes Inc., this collection of essays on the use of the Internet to deceive intentionally brings together the experience of both information industry professionals and librarians in order to shed light on the darker corners of the Internet. Contributers include Mintz, Paul Piper, Susan Detwiler, Stephen Arnold, and Susan Feldman. Certainly deception and antisocial behavior (and gullible victims) preexisted long before the Internet; however, the electronic realm has proved to be a fertile playground for thieves, charlatans, and propagandists. The types of intentionally deceptive Internet activity covered include counterfeit web sites and web hoaxes, medical misinformation, corporate misinformation, identity theft, privacy invasion/data mining, charity scams, consumer fraud, questionable legal advice, and search engine/ad placement issues. Examples of intentional deception range from the hilarious to the potentially deadly. Other chapters provide information on evaluating web sites and using search engines and what to do if you are a victim of fraud. Short of unplugging from the Internet completely, there are ways to protect and advise library patrons who use the net, and this book provides detailed information, countermeasures, and useful web sites. It would be difficult for any print book to be up-to-date on the creatively devious ways that online users can be exploited on a daily basis. However, the remedies offered are still current and broad enough to be useful. Although data mining is discussed, a chapter on adware, or so-called "spyware," would be helpful in any future edition. Recommended for public, school, and academic librarians, especially those who teach information literacy workshops. [Index not seen.] Robert L. Battenfeld, Long Island Univ.-Southampton Coll. Lib., NY
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-The 10 information-industry professionals who contributed essays to this book were commissioned to share their expertise in illuminating and analyzing the "dark side" of the Web. They aim to impart critical-awareness skills, a healthy dose of skepticism, and practical tips to Internet users. By coaching consumers to engage proactively in investigative search techniques, they want to educate an online community that will be less likely to fall prey to hoaxes, charitable scams, identity theft, medical or legal misinformation, and fraudulent e-commerce schemes. Chapters on how to evaluate Web sites and on how search engines work will be particularly valuable to students, arming them with checklists for establishing authority, strengthening their ability to discern bias, and alerting them to considerations of "paid placement" and subtle advertising in ranked search results. Each topic is thoughtfully addressed, documented with excellent examples, and, in some cases, accompanied by remedies or "countermeasures" to pursue to redress a grievance. An extensive index and a Webliography of quality sites mentioned in the text (many representing links to key government and nonprofit resources) round out the book. The multiple authorship of the text causes the writing to be a bit uneven; some chapters are readily accessible to casual readers, while others target a more sophisticated audience. Nevertheless, the book represents a welcome addition to the arsenal of tools offering guidance on identifying trustworthy, accurate data on the Web, and provides a public service by enumerating techniques for spotting misrepresentations.-Lynn Nutwell, Fairfax City Regional Library, VA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937290931
  • Publisher: Information Today, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 278
  • File size: 2 MB

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii
Acknowledgments xv
Introduction: Lies, Damned Lies and the Internet xvii
Chapter 1 Web Hoaxes, Counterfeit Sites, and Other Spurious Information on the Internet 1
A Rough Taxonomy 1
Counterfeit Web Sites 2
Suspicious Web Sites 6
News 7
Disinformation 8
September 11, 2001 9
Subject-Specific Misinformation 11
Science and Health Information 11
Business 12
Fictitious Sites 13
Parodies and Spoofs 14
Entertainment 17
News Groups--LISTSERV and UseNet 17
Hacks 18
One Person Gathers What Another Person Spills 18
Where to Go for Help 20
Countermeasures 22
Chapter 2 Charlatans, Leeches, and Old Wives: Medical Misinformation 23
Please--Don't Help! 25
Who Says and Why? 25
Ouch! 28
For One Thin Dime, One-Tenth of a Dollar 31
Doctor? Who Needs a Doctor? 34
Speaking Out of Both Sides of the Mouth 36
You'll Need a Prescription for That 37
One Last Villager 38
When Does Breaking Health News Become Permanent Information? 39
Avoiding the Charlatans 41
Checklist for Ordering Medicines Online (Carol Ebbinghouse) 46
References 48
Chapter 3 It's a Dangerous World Out There: Misinformation in the Corporate Universe 51
A Long History of Deception 53
The Wicked Web They Weave 54
Battling Elusive Rumors: Meet John Doe; Sue John Doe 55
Sometimes It Is the Technology 57
Pump and Dump--the Internet Way 58
And Sometimes It Is the Company 60
Other Tricks of the Trade 61
Web Sleight of Hand 63
General Net Confusion 63
No Escape from a Dirty Web of Deception 65
Will the Real Price Please Stand Up? 65
The Dangers When Business Becomes Personal 65
Rewriting Boundaries Electronically 66
Keeping Up with Mouse Capers 67
Prime Pickings for Bonnie and Clyde 70
Where to Go for Help 71
Countermeasures 73
Chapter 4 Internet Users at Risk: The Identity/Privacy Target Zone 75
Monitoring Action 77
Data Mining 78
The Lingo of Security 78
More Silence, Please 81
"Virtual" Criminals 82
U.S. Military's Use of Social Security Numbers 83
Old and New Crime Blend 83
People: The Weak Link in Security 84
Ignorance Equates to Vulnerability 85
Mathematics and Privacy Empower Data Mining 89
Legislation or Technology? 93
References 95
Chapter 5 Brother Have You Got a Dime? Charity Scams on the Web 97
The Watchdogs 100
Businesses Give, Too 103
Using the Web to Avoid Charity Scams 105
When to Suspect a Scam 108
How to Report a Possible Charity Scam 109
References 111
Chapter 6 Welcome to the Dark Side: How E-Commerce, Online Consumer, and E-Mail Fraud Rely on Misdirection and Misinformation 113
The Nigerian Letter: E-Mail Brings a Deadly Worldwide Scam into Your Home 114
Web-Based Fraud: You Can Even Get It Retail 116
Who's in Charge? 119
Whose Laws Apply? 122
What Can the Feds Do? 123
What Can--or Can't--the States Do? 124
Around the World Wide Web with Credit Card ... and Caution 125
What to Watch Out For 129
Going, Going, Gone for Good 130
The Dirty Dozen 132
Other FTC Activities 137
Countermeasures 139
Checklist for Consumer-Friendly Web Sites 143
Where to Go for Help 146
References 148
Chapter 7 Make Sure You Read the Fine Print: Legal Advice on the Internet 149
How to Locate Legal Information on Your Own 154
How to Evaluate Professional Advice Sites on the Internet 157
How to Evaluate Web-Based Directories of Professionals 160
Recommended Reading 162
Lawyers Meet the Net 162
Legal Advice Sites 162
Privacy Concerns 163
Evaluating Legal Web Site Quality 163
Chapter 8 How to Evaluate a Web Site 165
Factors to Consider 165
Looks Can Be Deceiving 169
Sources of Web Reviews 170
Sites to Help You with Evaluation 170
The Critical Factor 171
You Decide 173
Chapter 9 This Is What I Asked For? The Searching Quagmire 175
Deceptive Advertising Practices 175
The Danger of Hidden Assumptions 177
What's Going On Behind the Curtain? 178
Outside Influences: Pernicious and Otherwise 179
Misconceptions That Lead Us Astray 180
Search Engine Assumptions About Searchers 186
What Are We to Do? 190
Recipes and Recommendations for Better Searching 191
Is It Bias or Selection? 192
A Quick Guide to How Search Engines Rank Pages 194
Games Webmasters Play 195
Chapter 10 How a Search Engine Works 197
Document Processor 198
Query Processor 201
Search and Matching Functions 204
What Document Features Make a Good Match to a Query 205
Summary 207
Chapter 11 Getting Mad, Getting Even, Getting Money: Remedies for Intentional Misinformation 209
Getting Mad: Where and How to Complain 209
The First Place to Complain 209
Alternative Dispute Resolution 210
Complaining to the Agencies 212
Getting Even: The Revenge Web Site 214
Getting Money: The Court Is Now in Session 215
Evaluating Your Chances for Success 218
Where to File Suit 218
Intentional Misinformation: Fraud Actions 221
Countering a Cybersmear of Your Company 222
Government Agencies and Nongovernmental Organizations 225
General Sites 225
Government Agencies (Many with Online Complaint Forms) 225
Industry and Self-Regulation Agencies 226
References 228
Endnote: What a Tangled Web We Weave 229
Webliography 235
Contributors 247
Index 253
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2003

    I Simply Don't Understand What People Liked

    This book seems to indicate that the editor had no idea whatsoever what she was doing in putting it together. The essays are fairly well written, but the book reads like a mish-mosh of information, completely unclear. The lack of information on spyware just indicates that the editor seems to have no knowledge of the Internet at all, but is relying on her writers to help her put a book together. I did not find this book helpful, as the information in it is not new, novel, or particularly useful to anyone but a total newcomer, while the title just serves to scare off people from a legititmate search tool. It's unfortunate that Forbes backed the publication of this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013


    The leader is the only figure of elite ranking above the warriors. Even the deputy is considered an equal to the warriors, save for the fact that he or she will succeed the leader. In a battle, however, all cats, leader and warriors alike, are of equal status. Each life is the same. Any cat should be willing to sacrifice himself or herself for another cat in a battle, regardless if that cat is leader, deputy, or not. I will tolerate minor 'misbehaving', such as goofing off or just chatting with one another. I believe that it strengthens ties with one another. During a battle, once again, is a completely different story. I expect you to be focused on the task at hand and fight for victory. Having made those points clear, l feel that you, as a possible warrior for the Ashes, are prepared wuth enough knowledge. If you have any questions, ask them in the camp, whuch is in result two. <p>

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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