Short answer: It is tough.
Anyone with an opinion and a computer or smart phone can do irreparable damage by spreading wrong information presented as Truth.
Even tomorrow’s first Presidential Debate of the 2012 election is unlike other Presidential Debates in that everyone watching the debate can be an expert and instantaneously show their approval or disapproval via social media.
I for one will watch with one eye on the debate and one on Twitter.
The worry we communication practitioners have about social media – though we see it as a marvelous media channel – is also shared with the media companies, i.e., Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. How do they better police themselves to keep inflammatory stories and information off their sites and hold users accountable while not infringing on free speech.
NY Times provides background on what key actors are discussing on this big issue which will have major impact over the next decade.