Digital Lynch Mob

This morning I heard this term, "Digital Lynch Mob", from a political TV pundit. It got me to wondering where it came from.. so I googled it and found this 2006 Washington Post op-ed piece with the same name. In it columnist Richard Cohen bemoans the thousand of emails he gets when he writes on something that folks disagree with. Here is a clip from him:
It seemed that most of my correspondents had been egged on to write me by various blogs. In response, they smartly assembled into a digital lynch mob and went roaring after me. If I did not like Colbert, I must like Bush. If I write for The Post, I must be a mainstream media warmonger. If I was over a certain age -- which I am -- I am simply out of it, wherever "it" may be. All in all, I was -- I am, and I guess I remain -- the worthy object of ignorant, false and downright idiotic vituperation.
Sadly I think that most of us have been part of one of these mobs. I know that I sometimes have written some ignorant stuff here on my blog and have been corrected by nice people in the comments section. This stuff reminds me of this Pierre Beaumarchais quote that I recently posted on Facebook:
"It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them."
Such is the dilemma that we bloggers face: Do we, like some investigative reporters, spend days researching issues then publish our thoughts when they are ready for prime time? Or do we, in a conversational mode, present our views and solicit ideas from others in the Blogosphere? I tend to do the latter.

Even though I understand it I do not like the term "Digital Lynch Mob" because of the picture it paints of the Blogosphere.. and granted I do not spend great amounts of time reading political blogs like Politico or Huffington Post.. the little I have read in places like those I don't see a much of a mob mentality.

Maybe the real mob mentality is more about those viral email messages that regularly show up in our email in-boxes. It does seem that these folks are not interested in dialog. Seems like I never hear from most that I reply to with a counter-view.. and any reference to is pretty much ignored.. and yes I have read the stuff about the Snopes bias.. I also use

What comes to your mind when you hear the term "Digital Lynch Mob"? Emails? Blogs?

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