Forbes Lives In Fear

Danny G. sent me the much maligned Forbes article on blogs last night, and at first I thought it was some sort of Onionesque spoof. There’s a lot of that going around these days. Anyway, sorry to say it’s no spoof, just shoddy thinking masking as journalism.

Web logs are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective. Their potent allies in this pursuit include Google and Yahoo.
Blogs started a few years ago as a simple way for people to keep online diaries. Suddenly they are the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns.
“Bloggers are more of a threat than people realize, and they are only going to get more toxic. This is the new reality,” says Peter Blackshaw, chief marketing officer at Intelliseek, a Cincinnati firm that sifts through millions of blogs to provide watch-your-back service to 75 clients, including Procter & Gamble and Ford.
Google and other services operate with government-sanctioned impunity, protected from any liability for anything posted on the blogs they host. Thus they serve up vitriolic “content” without bearing any legal responsibility for ensuring it is fair or accurate; at times they even sell ads alongside the diatribes.

This Forbesian diatribe goes on to encourage brands to litigate against bloggers they don’t like.
It’s hard for me to take this kind of fear-based scare rhetoric seriously. Sure, it annoys me. I find it distasteful and ignorant. In the end, it’s just too base for words, even though I’ve supplied these. Oh, the contradictions…
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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.