Everyone's a Critic - For Better or For Worse


P.T. Barnum is credited as having said that there is no such thing as bad publicity. In modern times, technology has made it so that we, the huddling masses, can have not only access to good and bad publicity with a keystroke, but also join the crowds leveling criticism or praise at anything in our path. Like the restaurant down the block? Tell your neighbor. Hate the restaurant down the block? Leave a scathing review for the whole world to read on Yelp.

Indeed, in this day, it seems that everyone is a critic. On one hand, the democratization of criticism (or bad publicity) seems to be a fundamentally American sort of thing. I like to have my opinions just like everyone else, and I know junk when I see it on a screen, eat it in a restaurant, or read it in a book. But what does one do when the gauntlet of social media, which is the publicity equivalent of a shot heard around the world, sends not just a criticism, but an objectively unfair criticism, downstream?

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