Inaccurate information may be posted on the internet with the intent of damaging the reputation of an individual, business, organization, industry, government or country. Toni and Czar (2008) believe that if this information is accessed and utilized by consumers and practitioners, it may end up misleading them. As far as medical practitioners are concerned, this inaccurate information may make them give the wrong prescriptions to patients. Consequently, this may damage the reputation of medical practitioners. Furthermore, practitioners are likely to be charged by the courts of law of a particular country for negligence and be fined or imprisoned (Schloman, 2005).
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Last semester in my nursing research class I learned that scholarly sources are more likely to give accurate information because they have been researched. Commercial sources may not be reliable because they may be trying to sell a product as opposed to giving accurate information. An example of false information found on the internet is that of a patient seeking to have free silicone buttock enhancement or fat for breast augmentation. In some cases, some information is available on how to use soybean oil for breast implants. These products are widely used in Europe but are not approved in the United States. These procedures which are deemed deadly are not approved by the FDA and may not be accurate.
The web has many advantages as compared to the traditional means of communication such as the telephone, television and postal communication. First, this method is far much faster. For instance, a user sending an email from Durban to say Washington in the USA expects it to be viewed by the recipient in a matter of seconds. Second, this method of communication is cheap. Surfing costs are relatively cheap as compared to the cost of sending information in hard copy. Lastly, this method is convenient since many people today own personal computers at home and are connected to the internet (Schloman, 2005).
One of the main disadvantages of the world wide web and internet is that it is quite expensive to purchase the required instruments or machines. Toni and Czar (2008) agree that the cost of purchasing the computers and associated accessories is quite high and some people may not afford it. The majority of traditional means are known to relay accurate information due to minimal distortion chance but the World Wide Web information may not be entirely accurate. Further, the internet connections are liable to frequent disconnections owing to vandalism and system failure and they require frequent maintenance.
Schloman, B. (2005). Securing your Personal Computer and Protecting your Privacy. Journal of Issues in Nursing, 10(1), 14-16.
Toni, L., & Czar, P. (2008). Handbook of Informatics for Nurses and Healthcare Professionals. New York: McGraw-Hill.