Homework Writing Help on Digital Media and Information Credibility

Digital Media and Information Credibility

Introduction

Growth and development of digital media in relation to the effect it has on human life has necessitated the need to explain how information found in the online domain can be accessed, evaluated, and utilized. In the process of accessing and utilizing digital media content, there is need for users to understand the legal, social and the economic implications of such content. This is because there are internet applications that play an important role in influencing human behavior. This makes it important for the members of the society to understand the social, political, and economic essence of the information that they access. American Medical Association in the view of Graham and Metaxas (2010) indicates that there are “More people in the United States who medical advice on digital platforms rather than actually visiting health professionals” (p. 71). This is an indication that the number of people using the internet is currently rising and there is need for the society to consider different aspects that define the operationalization of information acquired from this source.

The main objective of this paper is to assess ways through which information from digital media can be analyzed to ensure that the information acquired through digital media is authentic and verifiable.

Credibility in digital media

The explosion of content in digital media and easy access to digital devices is responsible for the current proliferation of more information available to the society online than at any time in the history of man. According to Liu and Huang (2010), “Basic human activities, such as the processes through people are able to organize, locate, and engage in the coordination of groups of individuals who share common interests…” (p. 99) have been made relatively easier. This is an indication that through the development and growth of social media, there are incredible opportunities that can facilitate learning, political, and socio-political growth and development within the society. since the popularity of digital media in the United States, Graham and Metaxas (2010) argues that “…45% percent of online users perceive devices as influential decision-making platforms (p. 71). In addition, digital media has also enhanced the levels of connectivity and information gathering because it has not only increased knowledge in terms of what people know but also the techniques through which they access what they claim to understand.

Despite the perceived popularity of digital media in matters related to information access and sharing, the multiplicity sources that provide vast information make the process of accessing the credibility of information gathered through digital media highly complex. According to Graham and Metaxas (2010) digital media allows “…different individuals to post information that is often easily accessible to the users of different digital media platforms (p. 73). The fact that it is possible to post information anonymously makes it difficult for the users to understand information in terms of its origin, quality, and veracity. The unpatrolled implication in this case, according to Hong (2010), is that individuals accessing the information have the burden of “…locating the most appropriate information, and ensuring that they assess its relevance and meaning using the most accurate approach”  (p. 114). Undertaking the reasonability of assessing the credibility of information acquired from digital media is highly consequential considering that the use of inaccurate procedures in assessing information credibility may result in adverse legal, social, financial and health consequences. The implication in the view of Liu and Huang (2010) is that the process of determining trust, f believability and information bias is critical in evaluating credibility (p. 100). The evaluation process becomes more critical when individual users process information affecting their lives gathered from digital media.

Digital media credibility and effects on political, social, economic, and legal matters

Understanding the credibility of information from digital media is also essential because the information in this context cuts across social, legal, economic, political, and personal domains. For instance, information from digital media may result or fail to result in an informed citizenry. According to Graham and Metaxas (2010), this drives the pursuit of specific “…social agenda, the nature, and the level of commitment in public discussion and in the determination of the direction of public policy (p. 72). Furthermore, because of high prevalence of the interaction process on different social platforms, personal and social identities are often established through computer-edited programs, which is an indication that the credibility of the sources of information is no longer determined or sustained neither by face-to-face interactions nor through an endorsement of those known to the individual. Despite the seemingly disappearing essence of information credibility, Liu and Huang (2010) argue that “it remains an essential component in the persuasion and in the decision making process” (p. 100). This affects of spheres of life from consumer choices in purchasing products to the selection of a political candidate based on the information provided.

It is notable that the process of ensuring that an individual has access to credible information is highly essential in the political, economic, or social aspects of life. This is because an informer has a legal obligation towards other members of the society. It is therefore illegal to input falsity as part of information provided due to the possibility of misleading the public. Graham and Metaxas (2010) assert that it is important for users of digital media to “…verify the credibility of the information they received prior to engaging this information in other platforms (p. 72). This is because of the underlying implications especially when the said information threatens societal cohesion, political stability and the levels of social interaction in any society. The people responsible for communicating any form of information that damages the levels of cohesion or political stability of any society must be held criminally responsible for the consequences of his actions as defined in the legal procedures of his society.

In the contemporary society, the youth are an interesting group to consider in matters related to credibility of digital media. This is because they form a large percentage of digital media users. Furthermore, the current generation of youth according to Liu and Huang (2010) shares a different relationship “…with information technology and sources of information. This is especially between “Generation Y” and “Digital Natives” who share features of being highly involved in matters of digital technology (p. 101). Their description as digital natives in a land of digital immigrants has generated into the development of different expectations on how to gather, use, share, and translate information. Compared to the older generation, Graham and Metaxas (2010) argue that the “…youth are more likely to use digital media in conducting their research activities and for personal use” (p. 72). This makes “…digital media the main source of information considering that the close relationship between the youth and digital media highly affects their understanding of learning and research initiatives (p. 72).

As the first generation to grow in a highly interactive virtual environment, the youth have developed some level of comfort in sharing and collaboration of information. The youth, according to Hong (2010) use digital media to “…act such that they allow for moderately quicker ways of accessing to information without too much bureaucracy, as a common practice in many organizations (p. 114). This approach to the use of digital media possesses profound implications on matters of construction and assessment of credibility. The interactive nature of digital media has made it the responsibility of most of the youth in the society to play the role of information providers and recipients. The implication of this approach to accessing information makes is in their simultaneous role of critiquing, altering, remixing, and sharing information in the moist controversial manner through digital media. To this extent, Liu and Huang (2010) argue that the use of digital technology as the “…best platform for acquiring information presents difficulties especially in relation to the tendency among users to prove the credibility and legitimacy of the information” (p. 102).

Despite these realities, the process of examining the relationship between the youth and digital media has often been crude. This is because much of the analysis often focuses on the travesty of generation gap. These examinations according to Graham and Metaxas (2010) have often portrayed the youth as “…technologically proficient compared to the adult population” (p. 73). Such portrayals do not focus on the most essential and enduring by-products of too much reliance on digital media. An outstanding impact of such level of reliance on digital media is that much of the information that define different aspects of the life of man in society is assembled, filtered, provided and presented by sources that in most cases are foreign and largely unknown to the recipients of the information. The need to conduct an in depth analysis of different sources of information of the digital platform in the view of Liu and Huang (2010) is because of “…the immersion levels in digital media among young people and its effects on their opinion of research and environmental initiatives” (p. 104).

In matters of credibility according to Hong (2010), the use of digital media among the youth have a “…highly intriguing in relation to the perceived tension between technical and social engagement and the proficiency with digital tools coupled with their intrinsic constraint owed to inadequate understanding of technology (p. 115). There are those who have been socialized in an environment saturated with digital media technologies. Such individuals often possess the skills and abilities to enable these individuals to apply technology in accessing, consuming, and generating information. This perspective according to Danielson et al (2003) is that in matters of the relationship between the youth and the tools of digital media, “…the youth are in an efficient place that gives them technique of successfully navigating the composite digital media platform” (p. 17). Despite the presence of youth socialized around digital media, there are also youth in the society who can be perceived as inhibited in terms of their emotive and cognitive capabilities, experiences in life and level of familiarity in the operationalization of digital media apparatus. According to Liu and Hong (2010), inasmuch as youth are comfortable users of the available technology, “they are sometimes lacking relevant tools and expertise that ensures that the information they acquire is pertinent, plausible, and authentic (p. 102).

The process of understanding web-based credibility is heavily dependent on the distinctions that exist between different sources of information. Primarily, credibility of information and its sources is dependent on the level of expertise, dynamism, trustworthiness, and sociability. This according to Graham and Metaxas (2010) means that “there is a possibility for questioning digital media platforms matters of credibility since they operate on the internet (Graham & Metaxas, 2010). The consideration of digital media platforms such as websites sources with greater or lesser levels of credibility indicates the existence of a probability of translating numerous components of source credibility to the internet. It is possible in the view of Hong (2010) to communicate to experts through the “…precise and inclusive nature of internet information and websites that constitute an indispensable part of digital media” (p. 115). The policy statement of website often communicates the extent and the type of advertisements that the owners of digital media allow.

Other than the attractive and the dynamic nature of a website, message credibility in relation to digital media allows for the examination of information attributes, which influence the level of believability. On the digital platform, Liu and Huang (2010) argue “…essentials that useable in assessing of message credibility include the organization, language, and substance of the information (p. 103). Inasmuch as there is insufficient research on matters related to message credibility on the online platform, Rieh and Hiligoss (2008) assert, “internet users have often implemented a similar approach to understanding the content of a message” (p. 115). Different aspects of scrutiny such as level of accuracy, “…the accessibility of proof, breadth, and citations take priority over all the other aspects that affect the insight of clients of online information” (p. 116). Structural attributes of information, in the view of Liu and Huang (2010), which are derived from digital media “…such as their structure and the method used in the releasing of the information often affects the technique used in assessing credibility” (p. 104).

For information to be proved as authentic, Hong (2010) asserts that ‘it is important to reflect on the credibility of the media since it is imperative to evaluate the genuine nature of the information based on the technique of communication” (p. 115). While it is possible to perceive traditional mass media channels, such as newspapers as highly authentic and credible than the internet, the credible nature of the latter lies on its ability to provide instant and relevant information to a consumer. This in the view of Danielson et al (2003) means that digital media has the ability of proving a plethora of messages on any particular issue. However, “it is the role of the user to consider the message to accept as credible” (p. 18).

Challenges in realizing digital media credibility

The existence of an overlap between various dimensions of credibility makes it relatively difficult for consumers of information from digital media to distinguish the differences between the source of the message and the channels of receiving the information. This according to Graham and Metaxas (2010) is especially common in the contemporary digital media environment which offers, “…a surprising, quantity of information from different media sources, and from a group of information providers” (p. 73). Furthermore, there is also a high level of variance in the perceptions of credibility between different people and digital media platforms websites. This is largely because of their dynamic nature and the type of information that they provide. Liu and Huang (2010) argue, “The development of the users, their experiences and the expertise in using the internet as a source of information makes it easier for the development of a perception on the expectations of the society in terms of the information available in digital media (p. 115). Websites, for example, are currently considered as marketing platforms for companies, organizations, and even individuals. Blogs communicate specific messages and can be used by anyone who has the capacity and content to write about. Social networking sites also serve the purpose of interaction while other platforms, such as emails have been used in the society to communicate information that is more official. These are the ideal roles that these platforms of digital media play in relation to the expectations of the society. However, Danielson et al (2003) argues that the existence of an overlap between the source, the medium, and the credibility of the message “…overlie in multiple situations making it moderately tricky to ensure the development of a patent dissimilarity in relation to the credibility of digital media” (p. 20).

According to Liu and Huang (2010), “creditability of digital media is realizable when the parties concerned embrace accounting at different levels as a way of ensuring that the elements  defining digital media are correctly identified” (p. 105). Hong (2010) argues that the achievement and the competence of digital media in the society is only possible through an easy connection of individuals because of reduced cost of communication and a plethora of platforms that allow sharing of information (p. 115). Despite this level of connectivity, digital media users often appear as isolated appraisers of communication. However, it is possible for groups with common interests to engage in social endorsements of information on the digital media platforms. Such an approach to dissemination of information in the view of Danielson et al (2003) “is crucial in the validation of credible information” (p. 18).

In larger societies, however, social endorsement may only work with segments of the society considering the existence of diverse thoughts and approaches to understanding information. In such situations, Liu and Huang (2010) argues that evaluating the level of credibility of information derived from digital media can be bestowed on trustworthy organizations and agencies, since they can produce and recommend elements such as information repositories” (p. 105). For instance, in learning institutions, teachers have the responsibility of conferring information credibility on the databases made available to their students. For the health practitioners, credibility is often conferred to the websites and webpages that they recommend to their patients. This approach of conferring credibility to digital media sources according to Hong (2010) “…is only possible when the authorities employ high level expertise in matters of digital media” (p. 116). 

The difficulty in approving credibility of digital media presents novel challenges for information consumers considering the possible shift of the role of information evaluation from professionals to individual information consumers. In terms of additional challenges, Graham and Metaxas (2010) argue that “limited number of experts to guarantee quality control principles, perspective vagueness to information credibility from digital media affects the information obtained” (p. 74).

Conclusion

Basic human activities, such as the processes through which people are able to organize, locate, and engage in the coordination of groups of individuals who share common interests have been made relatively easier. In matters of credibility and the use of digital media, the youth have become a highly intriguing population in terms of the perceived tension between their technical and social immersion and the skills with digital tools coupled with their inherent limitation owed to limited experience in technological matters. The difficulty in approving credibility of digital media presents novel challenges for information consumers considering the possible shift of the role of information evaluation from professionals to individual information consumers.

References

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Graham, L and Metaxas, P. (2010) “Of Course It’s True: I Saw It on the Internet!” Critical

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