In using this tool, there are a few caveats the user should take note of. Some of these were outlined in this blog post, but it is worth iterating here.
The problem of a content’s reliability can be owed to a myriad of factors. Such factors include the authority of the author, the content’s logical structure including the presence of fallacies and patterns of citation, among others.
This is a huge problem, and is difficult to solve in an automated way with limited resources. Therefore it is important to note the following.
Things to note
- Quackcheck only attempts to solve the problem of questionable patterns of citation. We look out for cases where a piece of content seems heavily reliant on singular sources, or if no sources are cited at all, making a piece of content merely a set of assertions.
- As such, the score provided is only a guiding score for this one aspect of the reliability problem – other aspects like author credibility or logical fallacies are left up to the reader’s own discernment.
- Some sites are generally credible, for example certain government websites, NGOs or International Agencies like the UN. These sites will usually score poorly with Quackcheck, but that is because they are usually inherently credible without a need to cite other sources to prove themselves. In such cases, it might be wise to ignore Quackcheck’s citation score.
- Not all pieces of content need to prove their reliability as well. For example, there is no need to prove the reliability of a joke. In such cases, the use of Quackcheck would be totally irrelevant.