Sunday, December 29, 2002

political web site edits?

A couple of changes to the sites of the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have some critics concerned (NY Times, reg. req'd) that the sites have abandoned reliable scientific statements with politically influenced ones:
The National Cancer Institute, which used to say on its Web site that the best studies showed "no association between abortion and breast cancer," now says the evidence is inconclusive.

A Web page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used to say studies showed that education about condom use did not lead to earlier or increased sexual activity. That statement, which contradicts the view of "abstinence only" advocates, is omitted from a revised version of the page.
The world wide web presents another issue that political figures will have to address in some meaningful fashion. When web sites become a primary means of disseminating information to the public, what type of oversight will need to included when pages change, and information is revised?

[later -- more on data disappearing from government web sites, from searchenginewatch, in the December 19, 2002 edition of Searchday.]

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