Waldo Jaquith has been a longtime fixture in the Virginia blogosphere since 2004 (if not longer). So his cautionary tale about equalizing the nature of all knowledge online in the context of today’s social media environment is worth reading.
In short, Jaquith began a blogging aggregation platform that took the RSS feeds of every Virginia blogger and put them on an equal footing. No more curation, no more editors, no more experts — the full and unfiltered fire hose of the chattering class.
…and it was a disaster.
By putting terrible ideas on even footing with great ones, and by replacing a free marketplace of ideas with a leveled one, I inadvertently created a promotional vehicle for the ignorant, the rage-filled, and the chronically dishonest. By presenting them all in the same, shared context, it gave them an aura of legitimacy. And by automatically reposting their occasional hate speech, violent imagery, and calls to violence, I was enabling—even endorsing—those things.