Broken telephone

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The "broken telephone" is an important conceptual metaphor referring to loss of integrity in a spoken, and sometimes even written, comment over time. Failure to hear, to comprehend intent or context, paraphrasing, malice, and other factors are all involved. However, even with real incentives to get the message exactly right (such as a cash prize for the group that can create the longest chain of accurately repeated statements) all human groups fail to correctly relay a message past three or four voice-to-ear transactions. When a group relies on such unreliably relayed information and permits it to bounce from person to person, an echo chamber is created, whose output inevitably reflects not what was said or intended by the original speaker, but what the group assumes about the original speaker. This is one factor that goes into creating groupthink and rendering it impossible to make good decisions.

Having a single common due process with a clear standard of evidence that gives hearsay no status, is probably the only known safeguard against these problems. Ensuring that hearsay has no status in a key decision by the sysop power structure is a main responsibility of the Consumerium Governance Organization. Failing to ensure this can make it legally liable.