Remember the old days of Walter Cronkite and Eric Severeid? I do. Those were days when barefoot reporters actually had to confirm their sources to editorial boards that were held to excruciating standards by their Pulitzer prize-winning predecessors. If one mis-represented a fact or the origin thereof they could be subjected to a personal visit from William Randolph himself, if not one of his enforcers.
Nowadays there is virtually no accountability on some parts of the net. Anyone can post a comment, no matter how libelous, anonymously with few or no repercussions. Whole sites blogs and discussion groups can be directed to the defamation (justified or not) of a particular product, service, corporation, or person with no practical recourse. The “best practices” remedy for these posts by most serious e-marketers is to bury the comments down the list of search results far enough that relatively few people see them.
There are some possible solutions, but I am running out of space… to be continued