Welcome to the bathroom wall. The link goes to a post by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, which I will quote shamelessly (hey, I gave the link).

The Internet is a bathroom wall.

Consider: Anyone can write anything on a bathroom wall. There’s little accountability on a bathroom wall. It’s hard to tell who wrote what on a bathroom wall. Truth looks just like rumor on a bathroom wall. Great stuff is interspersed with awful, stupid stuff on a bathroom wall.

Most people know instinctively not to offer as verification or a point of information the phrase “Well, you know, I read on the bathroom wall that. . .” Yet far too many seem willing to lace their discourse and communications with “facts” gleaned from bulletin boards, e-mail and Web sites.

That from a 1998 Chicago Tribune piece by Eric Zorn. Now Eugene’s pithy comment:

The sad fact, which I’ve noted in many posts over the past year (and even setting aside egregious examples like the Jayson Blair affair), is that most media turn out to be a bathroom wall, too. An exaggeration, but less of an exaggeration that I’d like it to be.

Precisely. So, who says that one bathroom wall is superior to another? The reader does.

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