Is this fact?
Today, while sitting in my two and half hour lecture, a blog on my Google Reader caught my eye. It is titled Explosions in Argentina following a “ball of fire from the sky.” It discusses how last night in Argentina, there was a deadly explosion and fire that caused a large amount of damage in a concentrated area. The post discusses how there is no known cause for this explosion. One theory is that it could have been a small plane crash, yet the author doesn’t think there is any plane remnants. Other people suggest it could be a meteorite, but there is no impact crater which probably would have formed considering the amount of damage. The author then says that he believes it was something terrestrial.
This blog post got me thinking about things not completely related to the post content itself. First, I realized that every blog post you read, you must take with a grain of salt. All posts, as well as anything on the internet, have authors, but we don’t necessarily know what the author’s background is. Especially important in the scientific world of blogging and sources, we don’t know what the credentials for a certain writer are that allow the readers to take what they say as fact. After reading the article, I thought the author seemed to making assumptions with minimal information. For example, he commented that he did not believe the fire was caused by a plane crash but he based this off of a YouTube video that is blurry and difficult to see individual things. Therefore after reading the article I search the author’s name and found out that he is actually the creator of the BadScience blog site and a scientist. Knowing this made me feel better about the content of the article, but this is not true for all blogs. I am pretty sure there is probably a blog site out there that comes off as fact but in reality may not be true.
So knowing that we all are following different blogs, I just wanted to throw this idea out there, as we are all readers that could fall into a trap of believing sketchy information. Any thoughts?