This is going to be a mild rant. In tonight’s study at my online university, I encountered a statement that set the geek in me right off. Quoth:
The reliability of a website can frequently be determined by the domain or extension name.
The most reliable extensions include the following:
.edu: a school or other educational institution site
.gov: a government site
.mil: a military site
Three other common extensions may or may not be reliable. Further investigation is needed to determine the reliability of websites with these extensions.
.org: a noncommercial site that is used for nonprofit organizations, foundations, cultural institutions, and other organizations that perform charitable work
.com: a site that is for business and commercial organizations and probably should not be used for academic research.
.net: a site that is usually reserved for network providers and probably should not be used for academic research.
Other less common extensions also exist, with varying degrees of reliability.
– (Evaluating Internet Sources, University of Phoenix Online Classroom, Grammar & Writing Guidelines) (requires account, apologies)
As any of you who work in technology know, this is absolute bunkum. Not only are some of the most timely news and research outlets in the world running on .com, .org, or .net domains, the days when there were any hard and fast rules as to how these extensions are assigned have long since passed. Add to this, the reality that there are a host of domain extensions ranging from .mobi to international extensions, none of which are inherently less reliable as a result of their extension.
I think the thing that chaps me the most is that this is an institution that is supposed to be “beyond” this kind of almost luddite perspective. The notion that it is an online university putting this forth is, frankly, ironic.
Meh. I posted my rebuttal with a number of examples (i.e., online.wsj.com, cnn.com, vatican.va, and so forth) and logged off to go cool down. Hah. It’s been a while since I’ve had an attack of the vapors over something. I guess I just didn’t expect such ignorance from a university.
Proximity is not permission. Access is not authorization. Identity is declared, not assigned. Even * said, “I am.”
Fair Warning: I’m nice until you’re not… FAFO.
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