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Web Credibility

Research Project Description

The presence (and, sometimes, prominence) of incorrect and misleading content on the Web can have serious consequences for people who increasingly rely on searching and browsing the Web as their go-to information source for topics such as health, politics, and financial advice. In our CHI 2011 paper "Augmenting Web Pages and Search Results to Help People Find Trustworthy Information Online," we identify and collect several page features (such as popularity among specialized user groups) that are currently difficult or impossible for end-users to assess, yet provide valuable signals regarding credibility. We then present visualizations designed to augment search results and Web pages with the most promising of these features. Our lab evaluation finds that our augmented search results are particularly effective at increasing the accuracy of users’ credibility assessments, highlighting the potential of data aggregation and simple interventions to help people make more informed decisions as they search for information online.

Our paper describing this research, Schwarz J. & Morris, M.R., Augmenting Web Pages and Search Results to Support Credibility Assessment, will be presented at CHI 2011.

For more information, please contact Meredith Ringel Morris.

Public Data Set

To facilitate research on Web credibility, we have shared a data set of 1,000 URLs that have been manually rated for credibility on a five-point Likert scale. A score of 1 corresponds to "very non-credible," and 5 to "very credible." You can download the URL and ratings list, as well as the page contents as cached at the time of rating (file divided in two parts: part1 & part2). You can also download the additional expert ratings for the 21 pages used in the experiment described in our CHI 2011 submission (expert raters were two medical doctors, two banking and investment professionals, and two presidential political campaign volunteers).