If Fareed Zakaria and Jonah Lehrer had spent more time linking to the original sources of content they used in their writing, they wouldn’t have faced accusations of plagiarism. Their cases and a recent defamation lawsuit against Gawker Media help reinforce the value of the hyperlink.
The U.S. government continues to try and extradite British college student Richard O’Dwyer for simply linking to copyright-infringing files, on a site located in the UK. If they are successful, it could change the way we think about some of the fundamental underpinnings of the web.
If a mainstream media outlet like the Wall Street Journal fails to link to a blog that broke the news they reported hours later, is that just a lack of courtesy or something more serious? The bottom line is that linking is about building trust.
Hyperlinking is fundamental to how information spreads on the web — it’s the reason why traffic spikes on some sites and also explains why…
You wouldn’t think that we would still be having debates about the value of linking, but a blog post by Doc Searls about the dearth of links in newspaper stories led to a Twitter debate that shows how far some media outlets still have to go.