You might already know this, but none of the articles that are on Forbes are written by the staff. To be exact, none of the official publishers goes through them and make any edits. Considering this fact, people usually question its reliability.
In fact, the question of is Forbes a credible source is quite common. We even stumbled upon such questions on the internet. And we did a lot of digging afterward. We took a couple of the articles as a reference and fact-checked all of the things that are stated there.
Spoiler alert! The results surely shocked us. And it is bound to shock you as well! So, without keeping you waiting, let us take a deeper dive into the topic and find out whether the source is reliable or not.
Is Forbes Reliable?
It goes without saying that Forbes magazine has a lot of fans. People from all around the world read through the articles that are posted there. But there is only a small percentage of readers know that the articles are not from the official publishers.
The policy of Forbes allows any person (it can even be you) to launch a blog post that will be under the magazine’s banner. This policy is still considered to be the worst decision that Forbes has ever made. But why? What makes the readers know about the policy makes them take things with a grain of salt?
First, let us talk about the policy a bit more. According to the policy, any person of any persuasion can launch a blog post. And the policy does not even require the blogs to be proofread or edited by any of the officials before it goes under the magazine’s banner.
Forbes classes these persons as contributors. And these contributors are from all around the world. Wondering what do these contributors get in return? Well, for the articles that they will provide, they will get royalty payments.
Because the policy does not require the articles to be proofread or edited by the officials, there is a serious lack of quality control. Any of the writers who are getting paid for saying something that will trigger political issues will write anything.
As these articles are not going to be proofread and edited, they will remain under the banner of the magazine. That means millions of readers are going to read it. That also means that the people who do not know about the policy will believe everything in the article.
On that note, the political issue is not the only thing that the writers can manipulate through this system. There are other major topics as well. This false information can make people invest in something that is potentially a scam. And it does not end there. There are plenty of other bad things the authors can make people do.
You might be wondering if Forbes will do something once they find out about the false information stated in the article. Well, the best they can do is take down the article and ban the writer from contributing.
Also, as the writer might be thousands of miles away from where Forbes operates, it will be pretty easy to confront the writer as well.
Four Ways Of Identify Reliable Sources
While most of the readers are going to stick with the theory that if the source is well-known, it must be reliable. But as you can see, the case is not that always. Forbes is a highly reputed source. Millions of readers go through the blogs that are posted there. But you know now that not all of them are reliable.
Now, you might be asking, how will you actually know if the information is reliable or not? Well, for that, consider these four methods:
Stick to Your Guts
If you think that a statement from the article is making you feel unsure about its reliability, it might be totally unreliable. We often find ourselves asking, “really?” after going through some of the articles. And in the end, we often find all of the information that is in that article is false.
But how do we find that out? Well, Google is your best friend in this case. Do your research on the topic. Head over to the other sites that have articles regarding the same topic. If they are not stating the same thing, the chances are that all the things that the first article said was nothing but a lie.
Another way of finding out whether the information is reliable or not is by going through the references. Usually, these articles will state words like “research shows,” which is where you need to ask which “research.” If the information is actually valid, it will have a link to that research paper through reference.
On that note, if the information seems balanced, then there will be no need to go through the hassle of checking the references. Just do one Google search and find out its credibility.
Is the Information from the Source Sharable?
Considering the fact that we are pretty much aware of how easily a rumor spreads around, we tend to be a bit cautious while sharing something. That is why you need to ask would you trust the source enough to share the information around.
If your job depends on that exact information, would you take the risk of presenting it? Another example would be exam papers. Ask yourself would the teacher give you proper grades if you use that information for your term papers? If the answers are maybe, you need to do a lot of research.
Go through the articles that cover the same topic or something similar and try to match the information. If most of the articles disagree with your source, it would be better not to share them.
Now, what if that information could have gotten you something valuable? Well, if you feel like spreading false information to get something is an ethical thing, sure, go ahead. Just be aware that everything has its consequences and whatever goes around comes around.
Do Other Sources Use the Same Information?
This could save you loads of time. Instead of searching for the entire topic, just copy the information that you are skeptical about and Google it. If you find plenty of different sources using the same information, you should be good to go.
However, most of us do not trust things on the internet easily. We like to be double sure of the information before being sure that it is reliable and credible. And that is where we look for whether the information has been cited in an academic journal or not.
If we can find that exact information being cited on any of the academic journal articles, we can be fully assured about it. Those writers always write credible stuff because they are not getting paid for their writings. But, to be extra sure, you can always cross-check between all of the articles.
In addition to that, the determination of reliability also depends on your judgment. The more you examine the information that is skeptical, the more your judgmental power is going to be. And over time, you will get better at stating whether the information stated is true or just some gibberish put together.
Determine How Close the Information is from the Primary Source
You might already know what a primary and secondary source is. Well, just in case you do not have any idea regarding it, the primary sources are from authors who have faced the incident. That means the author himself is the source of information along with the others.
On the other hand, secondary sources are those that are based on the primary source. That means it can be an interpretation of the primary source. And the fact is that not all of us think in the same way. Also, not all of us can interpret the same source in the same way.
That being said, the closer the source you have in hand is from the primary source, the higher its reliability score is going to be. If it is not that close to the primary, it will mean that it is a secondary source. And in all of those interpretations, it can hide the truth away.
Other than that, you can also question the primary source. Check whether the same author has published any academic citing or not. Also, check if the same topic is being covered by the same author in other “reliable” sources. If you find plenty of them, it is most likely credible.
The internet is full of information. And due to having an incredible amount of information, it is not always possible to maintain the quality. So, we should really take all the things we read with a grain of salt, which is exactly what we tried to state through this article regarding is Forbes a credible source or not.