Web of Deception:
Misinformation on the Internet
Editied by Anne P. Mintz
Information Today, Inc., 2002, 275 pp.,
ISBN 0-910965-60-9, Price $37.95
Reviewed by Pamela Putman
Heard the one about Costa Rican bananas carrying flesh-eating bacteria?
How about antiperspirants causing breast cancer? These and other
Internet myths are debunked in Web of Deception: Misinformation
on the Internet. Edited by Anne P. Mintz, the director of knowledge
management at Forbes Inc., the book provides a comprehensive review
of various pitfalls that casual users and professionals alike should
watch out for while surfing the Net.
Mintz and her merry band of myth breakers -- ten contributors who
range from database experts, to consultants to librarians -- work
very hard to guide the reader through intentionally misleading and
erroneous information on the Web. The types of deceptive Internet
activity covered include counterfeit Web sites, Web hoaxes, medical
misinformation, identity theft, privacy invasion, consumer fraud,
corporate deception and dubious legal advice.
Other chapters go on to provide valuable information on evaluating
Web sites and using search engines.
The authors have a tendency at times to sensationalize the Net's
capacity for providing less than reliable information, without reminding
their audience of the incredible contribution it has made to society
as a whole. It should be obvious to Internet users that it is important
to take a few moments to consider where the material you are seeking
is coming from and who is producing it, especially if you rely on
it as a source of personal and professional information. If you
don't approach the information highway with caution, you may fall
victim to the Web's inaccuracies, partial truths and fraud.
Perhaps the best information provided in the book is this: Be smart.
Don't turn off your brain when you turn on your computer.
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