I know it’s true, I read it on the Internet

As most of you know, I have lived in the computer world for most of my adult life. Almost from the day I started using computers, I’ve been connected to some form of network. When I first started using computers in 1986, it was bulletin board services (BBS). In 1990 when I started at CSULB, I got my first exposure to the Internet. That was pre-World Wide Web days. My friend Todd was the first person on the Web. I was number 127. So, at this point in my life the Internet and the Web are integral components of my life. Not a day – or maybe even an hour – goes by that I’m not using the Internet in some form.

Now, I realize that not everyone in America is like me. However, some times people’s expectations of the Internet really catch me off guard. For example this quote (full article):

Hollis, 38, a criminal attorney for 12 years, also said the site does not have safeguards in place to ensure the truthfulness of items posted on it.

Mr. Hollis is a 38 year old attorney. Now, this would imply that he is reasonably intelligent and even has a modicum of common sense. Yet here he is, quoted in a national news magazine complaining that a web site doesn’t have safeguards in place to ensure truthfulness. Well, duh!

We might argue that Mr. Hollis is using this opportunity to bring such safeguards to the Internet by making it possible to sue anyone who posts something untrue about anyone. However, I think it more likely that someone posted something nasty about Mr. Hollis and he is seeking to squelch it and maybe punish those who posted it as well.


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