From 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.