Misguided Instruction

Spreading Awareness

Sadly, there is a lot of misinformation in the world. Here is my attempt to list the various places that are spreading false ideas about the credibility of .org domain names.

The purpose of this list is to showcase just how widespread the misconception of .org domain names really is. If you encounter a website, textbook, or any other resource that misrepresents the implied credibility of the .org domain name I encourage you to reach out to its publisher and tell them that they are misleading their audience. You can point them to this website, www.dotorgdoesntmeancredible.org for more information. Additionally, if you find any examples in the wild, feel free to reach out to me via email so I can update this list.

The Culprits:

Name Format Description
Lydia M. Olson Library (Northern Michigan University) Research Guide "In addition, the first part of the address of a site, called the domain, contains information that allows you to get a general idea of the sponsor. ... and .org means an organization" More Info
Mayo Clinic Patient Education Healthcare In the pamphlet "Finding Reliable Health Information on the Internet," the Mayo Clinic states that a website URL can give information about a its credibility, but suggests that .org means "a non-profit organization owns or sponsors this website" without providing any caveats. More Info
Public Speaking Now: Textbook and Coursebook for SPCM 200: Public Speaking Textbook "URLs that feature .com, .org, or .edu tend to be the most credible, representing businesses, institutions, and schools and universities, respectively." More Info
Morehead State University Camden-Carroll Library Library Research Guide "In general, .gov and .edu web sites are more reliable than .com web sites." More Info
Invitation to Public Speaking, Fifth Edition Textbook In its section on evaluating Internet Information, this textbook states that a .org domain name represents "a nonprofit organization more interested in services and issues than in commerce." More Info
Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era Book Daniel Levitin's book offers a lot of useful guidance for strong critical thinking, but still suggests that .org sites are more likely to have trustworthy information More Info
Allconnect - Student’s internet research guide Blog Post Sites that end in .org are run by a nonprofit organization. These can be good resources but may have a strong bias or opinion. Check with your teacher if it’s a good site for your project. More Info
Stanford University Libraries - How to Evaluate Sources Video "Some domain names are considered more credible than others" More Info
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Spread the word!