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What Is The Credibility Of Apogee?

How do we as students know what to trust?

James Szalkie, Writer

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I know that citing sources can be difficult for any project. To find the right Bibliography generator (nobody I know could actually create citations off the top of their head), there’s a lot of copying and pasting, and it can be a large part of our grade. And with NHD now begun, Freshmen will be doing a lot of citing. Since that has begun, and freshmen have just received their laptops, we were highly encouraged to add the extension to chrome “Apogee,” which will give you a citation for whichever website you’re on, and will also supposedly  give you a credibility rating. But as with everything, it may be smart to question it. What was it they said, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is?

My concerns were first risen when I wanted to check the credibility of “The Onion,” a news source that is notorious for being over written and frequently satyrical. But it was to my surprise that it scored a whopping 10/10.

Next I thought I’d try Infowars.com, the site for the talkshow hosted by Alex Jones. The show has faced controversy  lately due to Alex’s bold and often uncited claims, one of which was that the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting was a hoax. He is also famous for saying that the military ordered the construction of a gay bomb, a chemical weapon that would supposedly cause homosexual urges in it’s targets. He then said that it was turning the frogs gay, and that it is being put into the tap water. Infowars.com, 8/10.

Then there’s a site relevant to my NHD project, the official Indy 500 historical page. It scored a 5/10. From then, several of my sites failed to reach what the seen minimum was, a 6/10. But my fears were truly inspired when I was working on my essay for biology, which involved the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change), which is full of facts and statistics supporting the reality of climate change. It scored a 3/10. I would describe before as interesting, but now my faith was lost. So I approached like a scientific investigation, and started with a question: does apogee favor conservative websites over liberal?

Naturally what was next was to think of the most liberal and conservative medias I could think of. Democrats.gov (liberal) was the first, and it scored a 6/10. But, Gop.com (conservative) scored an 8/10. Then I tried Breitbart news (conservative), which scored a 6/10. That site doesn’t entirely support my theory, but cherrypicking evidence is highly frowned upon. But, MSNBC (liberal) received a 6/10, while billoreilly.com received a 7/10. Not only is it a conservative talk show, the host, Bill O’Reilly has been widely accused of sexual harassment. Granted, both Fox.com and NBC.com both received 8/10. New York Times even received a 5/10, same as NRA.org. But I was the most concerned when I decided to push the limits. The official alt-right website, alt-right.com, received an 8/10. And while the KKK homepage and neonazi.net only received a 4/10, how was it more than the IPCC.com, which received the same rating as the North Korean official website? Not to mention, how did Sons Of Confederate Veterans receive a 6/10? And this one surprised me, our very own shortridgehigh.org received a 5/10.

But rather than basing facts on the way news sites lean, it would be smart to be obvious. But, while Donaldjtrump.com got a 5/10, hillaryclinton.com received a 9/10, so who’s to say the political views of apogee?

My point isn’t to reject apogee. It is a great way to cite sources easily, and the credibility portion is good in theory, but the public is very easily tricked. Take for example Linus Pauling. He popularized the idea that vitamin C will help beat the common cold, and strengthen your immune system. Linus was a nobel prize winner, and “the rock star of chemistry,” but he got one thing wrong, and as a result, we still believe it vitamin C strengthens immune systems. In fact, this was only a theory: “fifteen different studies have concluded that vitamin C does not treat the common cold”- “The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements.” For more information, check out “Adam ruins everything,” (one of my personal favorite shows) below.

My point is this: be sure to question everything, look at the details, notice things around you that are off, and never be too sure. As to the credibility of apogee, I suppose that isn’t up to me, but to you, the reader.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29v6rNFjlLI
Adam ruins everything

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