The self-correcting machinery of the blogosphere is more efficient than the internal fact-checking departments of conventional media enterprises. This is not only because many more people (not only the bloggers, but also, as I have just noted, their audience, which can communicate with them instanteously by means of the comment feature that most blogs enable) are watching out for mistakes; it is also because corrections are disseminated virtually instantaneously throughout the network.Surprisingly, this statement of support by a respected academic has gone almost completely unnoticed by the blogosphere. As of this writing, Technorati shows that only eight unique sources have linked to Posner's post. Yet the Becker-Posner blog itself is linked by some 695 unique sources. Professors Becker and Posner may have created the blogosphere equivalent of a book people buy in order to appear intellectual, but do not actually read.
In contrast, even when the mainstream media catch mistakes, it may, especially in the case of the print media, take days or weeks to communicate a retraction to the public. The process is especially deficient in the case of newspaper retractions, which are printed inconspicuously and, in all likelihood, rarely read.
Reflecting my impeccable sense of timing, the Becker-Posner blog got Instalanched less than 24 hours after I posted the above (although for a different, but related post).