Trust and fact check
Who can we trust?
It can be difficult to know which websites to trust and what could be scams or propaganda. On the page “What is what in the Norwegian media?” you can read more about what is produced by established media and what is made by external people (experts or ordinary people). What else should you look for to find out if an internet source is reliable? There can be several reasons why a network source is not reliable for example:
The website is a platform for opinions that pretends to be a news platform.
The difference between a debate platform / platform for expressions of opinion and a news channel is that news channels are run by independent journalism and have the purpose of informing about concrete, demonstrable events that have taken place in the society or in the world. While the purpose of an opinion statement is to present the opinion of the speaker, which does not necessarily require references to concrete and unprovable events. Debate pages are a central part of democracy, and are important for the formation of the people, but when opinions are incorrectly presented as news updates or facts, this leads to erasing the difference between facts and assumptions or unfounded conclusions. A website that pretends to provide independent journalism while actually only producing opinion expressions, can not be considered as reliable sources of information because it is struggling to distinguish between opinions and fact.
The site pretends to be different.
www.VG.no is, for example, a legitimate Norwegian news source, while www.VGn.no tries to imitate VG and thus appear as a recognized Norwegian news source.
The imitations of established sites are often accomplished and are easy to confuse with the official sites they are trying to imitate. They can usually be revealed by a URL that does not match the official website it claims to be, and will often have more sensational content and the ads will more often be for lesser known products or alternative services. Therefore, it is very important to double check that the web address in the address field matches the website you want to visit.
The website is never listed as a source or reference by trusted websites
If a website that claims to be trusted has never contributed information or perspectives that other media or websites have been interested in, it can be interpreted as the website being unsuitable as a reference source.
The site can not provide sources for its claims
The only situation where you should accept information without stated sources is where the sources are people who need protection.