Most newspapers do it these days.
They invite a reader to share a dilemma and then ask readers to share their advice. I suppose if you think about it as entertainment it is harmless enough but sometimes it does feel a bit wrong.
I'm sitting here looking at an article where someone is getting well intentioned but bonkers advice about her teenage daughter. Recently I saw some potentially disastrous advice given to a man with a suicidal wife and still shudder at the insensitivity dished out to the man who was coming to terms with his father's homosexuality.
The problem is that anyone can comment and, let's face it, many of our fellow human beings should be encouraged to keep their bizarre or ill-formed opinions to themselves (I know this is dangerous ground for someone who writes a blog...).
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but why do we think that they all deserve a platform to express their views?
For internal communicators this is a real issue. I used to manage an internal bulletin or discussion board for a company at which I used to work. I firmly believed that it was good for the company to give people a space to ask challenging questions.
For a couple of years I used up endless personal credit with senior leaders defending the right of some quite obnoxious people to be rude to the executives.
And did it do any good? Probably not. The miserable gits moved on, little actually changed and the company went broke anyway.
Now I have reached the view that quite a few Linked-in fora are probably not worth the time of day.
My blood pressure probably can not cope with the aggressive tone of some contributors or the fatuos observations of others. In fact the spam postings make a couple of the sites just about bearable.
What surprises me is that the fora from which I have un-subscribed are run for the benefit of communicators. Somehow I'd expect my fellow professionals to be better quality posters.
As comms professionals we regularly get called upon to manage all sorts of infantile debates in workplaces. Childish behaviour is often cited as one of the fears that prevents organisations experimenting with social media internally. But give IC people a platform and we're as bad as anyone else.
Having said that, Charlie Norblum's Communicative Leadership group on Linked-in seems to be attracting a higher class of contributions than many such fora.
So, for the time being I'm cleaning up my social media subscriptions. And I'm left with the question - is the sum of human happiness or workplace engagement enhanced just by letting any buffoon expose their ramblings to the rest of us?
PS - I do appreciate the irony in a blogger saying this!