Two searches on 9/11

I was reading a part of the “Finding Dulcinea” website. I have been very interested in this site for a while now. The site has as its main intention to use verifiable information so as to make web searching better for students.

 They point out that Google has become the usual starting point for anyone doing a search and that most students will just look at the first few entries in the Google search and use these as the basis for an essay or report. They also talk about the doubts about Wikipedia and the fact that most Google searches will give you the Wikipedia entry on a subject very high up in the search list.

 Without going into the argument about Wikipedia I decided that I would use two search engines to look up the events of 9/11 as tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of the horrible events surrounding the eventual destruction of the “Twin Towers” by two planes flying into them in 2001.

 I did a search using Google and another using “Sweetsearch” which is the verified search site set up by Finding Dulcinea themselves. The results were really interesting.

 The first three results on the Google Search were:

  1. September 11 attacks – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 9/11 Commission established that two of the hijackers had recently purchased Leatherman multi-function hand tools. A flight attendant on Flight 11,

The Falling ManWorld Trade CenterAmerican Airlines Flight 11

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacksCachedSimilar

  1. 9/11 conspiracy theories – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

9/11 conspiracy theories allege that the September 11 attacks in 2001 were either intentionally allowed to happen or were a false flag operation
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_conspiracy_theoriesCachedSimilar

Show more results from en.wikipedia.org

  1. Videos for 9/11

 

9/11: The 9/11 Chronicles – Part One – Truth
115 min – 15 May 2010
veoh.com

 

 

9/11
3 min – 28 Jan 2006
Uploaded by skyracer90
youtube.com

 

 

9/11 The Falling Man
71 min – 6 Oct 2006
Uploaded by fofo69
youtube.com

 

 

What We Saw Never before-released video of the
26 min – 21 Sep 2006
video.google.com

 

 

 The first three results of the Sweetsearch were:

·                            The LOC.GOV Wise Guide : Remembering 9/11

In addition to the obvious impact of 9/11 on the Library of Congress and its staff, the tragedy also had an almost immediate effect on the institution’s

http://www.loc.gov/wiseguide/oct07/911.html

·                            Library of Congress Minerva – September 11 Web Archive

Overview – The September 11, 2001, Web Archive preserves the web expressions of individuals, groups, the press and institutions in the United States and

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/lcwa/html/sept11/sept11-overview.html

·                            The 9/11 Commission Report

provide the fullest possible account of the events surrounding 9/11 and to ilies of 9/11, whose persistence and dedication helped create the

http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf

To me the differences were stark. The Google search was all about Wikipedia and the case for conspiracy as well as a number of videos that may (or may not) be pertinent to an understanding of what happened that day. The Sweetsearch contained the Library of Congress material that had been put together in the aftermath of the events to present as broad and realistic a picture of 9/11… including a link to the American Folklore Centre that collected together information (pictures, drawings, written statements) that reflected the events of the day (see http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/911/911-folklife.html).

 You may have done  some work in your school about 9/11 or you may be doing some in the early part of next week. I wonder, if left to their own devices, what research your students would do.  I suspect it would be a quick Google Search with the results above and they may be guided by the Wikipedia entries. I think it is such a shame that they may not know or have teachers who are directing them to use Sweetsearch which contains some amazing and verified material that could give them a different slant on their research into this powerful event in recent history.

 I would welcome your comments on this.

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