Someone wrote me an e-mail today, complaining that some rumor was posted on here -- one that "just wouldn't die" even though Snopes trashed it, etc.
Here is my response to him:
My message board is akin to a coffee shop.
As long as humans want to spread "unverified facts", there are going to be such "unverified facts" on boards like mine. I don't approve each and every post -- far from it.
What if people were spreading an urban legend -- like the one you cite -- at a coffee shop? What would you like to happen? A cop should arrest them, duct tape their mouth, and beat them? No freedom of speech?
If "no", then why should the Internet be any different? If "yes", then shame on YOU! This is supposed to be a free country, where people can commit all the "thoughtcrimes" (1984 reference, if you haven't read the book) they want. People are free to disagree with the majority, etc.
I agree that urban legends need to be squashed -- so why not sign up and post the link to snopes! That's all you have to do, I'm sure it would "die" right there -- at least on my site.
Because of Original Sin, one of the effects is "ignorance" -- people will always be dumb, pass on rumors, fail to reason correctly, etc. That's just part of the territory when dealing with fallen human beings.
No, I can't save you from having to think. You, and everyone else, will have to sort out the "chaff" from the "wheat". It would be nice if all error-spreaders were jackbooted and censored, so one could just "soak it all in" passively with no thought or discernment necessary. But life isn't that easy.
What am I supposed to do, pre-emptively approve each and every post? Nonsense.