Who is Responsible for the Content of the Website and the Content of the Page?


Every page belongs to a website, and it should be clear:

• Who (what company, business, foundation, individual, etc.) is responsible for the content on the website.

• Who is responsible for the content on the page you are evaluating. The website check questions you will answer in the rating task are:

• Is it clear who is responsible for the content on the website?

• Is it clear who is responsible for the content on the page?

Websites are usually very clear about who is responsible for the content on the website and the content on the page. There are many reasons for this. Commercial websites have copyright material they want to protect. Businesses want users to know who they are. Artists, authors, musicians, and other original content creators usually want to be known and appreciated. Foundations often want support and even volunteers. High quality stores want users to feel comfortable buying online.

The homepage of the website should indicate who is responsible for the content of the website. Most websites have "contact us" or "about us" or "about" pages that give you information about who owns the site. Many companies have an entire website or blog devoted to who they are and what they are doing, what jobs are available, etc. Please look carefully and explore the website. Blogs or even social networking pages may be the way companies communicate who they are.

Here is an example of a website where it is clear who is responsible for the content of the website: "WHO IS GuS?"

page
. This website has a nice page about who they are. Note that this page is titled “WHO IS GuS?” The page is not titled “about” or “about us.” You will need to look at the information provided on the website, not necessarily the title of the page on which the information appears.

Important: The question “Who is responsible for the content of the website and the content of the page?” is not necessarily looking for an individual who is responsible. Often the website is responsible for the content, not an individual person. The IBM Corporation is responsible for the content on ibm.com. The Cleveland Clinic is responsible for the content on clevelandclinic.org. An individual is not responsible for the content on these websites, even though many individuals probably contribute to creating and maintaining the content. The business or organization is responsible for the content.

Website Owner and Content Creator are Different

In some cases, the website is owned by one company, but the content on the page is provided by a different company or individual.

For example, social networking sites allow individuals to create pages. The social networking website is responsible for many aspects of the site, but individuals are responsible for what is on their pages (subject to the terms and restrictions of the social networking site).

Who is Responsible?


Example


Explanation

clear

Oprah's Facebook Page

This is Oprah’s Facebook page. She or her media company is responsible for the content on this page. Facebook (the company) is responsible for the website.

unclear

Page with no "about us"
link or information

There is no “about us” information on who is responsible for the page content or for the website.

unclear

About Us page with no

true company information

The “About Us” page does not give the name of a company or physical address. No other page on this site has information either. Clicking the “contact us” link will open the default email program on your computer with an email addressed to the website. Clicking the link will not provide contact information for the website.



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