Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@ddmcd.com) consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Don't Just Say, "Google It!"

By Dennis D. McDonald

Why should I have to do the work for someone else trying to convince me of something?

I like reading the comments on articles in the Washington Post, New York Times, and other online publications. Still, a pet peeve of mine are the comments made by some readers that reference a statement or action without providing any backup via a specific reference or link.

A case in point was an anti-Trump comment made yesterday morning that, if true, would be inflammatory. While I am not a Trump fan I do know that pushing untrue conspiracy theories that oppose Trump is unnecessary and potentially counterproductive.

So I asked the commenter to provide a link. Responses to my request for a link to document the cited Trumpism included "Everyone knows this!" and "Just Google it!"

Such response don’t help a cause. Why should I have to do the work for someone else trying to convince me of something?

The often-heard "Google it" response is no guarantee that I will find facts related to what the author's point is. Google results are influenced by the observed personal search patterns tracked by Google, by the words and search syntax used to search, and by attempts of others to influence "first page" hits. There's no guarantee I will find evidence for what you are stating. Besides, I mostly use DuckDuckGo for searching.

If you are trying to make a point, do yourself and your cause a favor. Make your case stronger by providing more evidence.

For a related discussion on this topic, see my social media decay article titled One Simple Way To Make Your Tweets More Credible.

Copyright (c) 2019 by Dennis D. McDonald

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