The Internet is an invaluable source of information -- but not all information is created equal. It's important to realize that some things you find online that support your argument or agree with your beliefs simply aren't true, and some things that you vehemently dislike are, in fact, accurate. Here, I'm going to give you a couple quick tools that I hope will help make navigating the internet a little easier.
There are a lot of different ways you can judge a website to see if it is something you should trust. Here are a few:
Currency: Is the information recent? Does recency matter for the topic you've chosen?
Reliability: Are they using their citations accurately
Authority: Why do you trust this author or publisher? What are their credentials? What is their reputation?
Purpose/Point-of-View: Is this opinion, research, or journalism? What bias is present? Are they trying to sell you something?
Together, these form the basic backbone of something called 'The CRAP Test'. Created by Molly Beestrum, the CRAP test is an easy way to remember a few key questions you should always be asking yourself when you are citing a web source.
You may have heard something along the lines of
Be very careful when following that guideline.
Instead, I recommend that you use the tools I laid out in the box above this one. You must consider each resource on a case-by-case basis. Each kind of resource has its own types of biases and best uses.
Below are a few links that I think many of you will find helpful. These are not the only sources you can use online, but they may be helpful places to start.