Following an article that Sherrilynne Starkie wrote in the local paper: Tech Talk: A cautionary tale (great article by the way, some poignant anecdotes in there), a thread was sparked off on one of the local forums starting off a discussion as to whether forums posts affect local businesses
This was my take:
I don’t think it’s all as bleak as some people want to make out. I’ve seen a number of cases on forums where someone will slag off a company or a service and other forum members disagree and talk about the good experiences they have had with that company. I wouldn’t go as far as to say the system is self-regulating, but it certainly is self-correcting.
Take a look at some of the Web 2.0 websites built around user-generated content (Wikipedia is a great example). Yes, the system may be open to vandalism, libellous entries and all sorts of falsehoods; but in the long run these get cleaned out of the system to become a true representation of the group mentality of the people who frequent it.
What do you think?