Traditional media outlets such as TV and Newspapers have developed over the years a "professional code of ethics", with truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability as some of the most commonly cited principles or core values.
As we saw in class the efforts of Google and Facebook around the election were highly motivated by the passion the speakers in class had for the subject and led by small teams. Even tough Britney and Randi seemed very well intentioned and discussed some concerns they had around trying to remain impartial, the level of their thinking around the implications of their actions and their responsibility now as a key media outlet seemed still very incipient and far behind their actual level of influence. As Alex commented on his post, these companies - especially Google, are becoming more like content providers and have to consider the responsibility associated with the role.
Another interesting thing, IMHO, is looking at the type of content that was popular during the election and how much it really "help stimulate the debate". If you search for Obama on Current.com you'll find the story of the "Obama Girl", which was actually a character created by the site BarelyPolitical.com and was tremendously popular, with videos that had over 13 million views on YouTube.
On an unrelated note, browsing through Current.com is fun and if you want to make an video advertisement for the G1 phone you can submit it and if selected to go on the air you can get $2500. User generated ads could be relevant in the near future, especially if the user-generated content continues to please the crowds, as Chloe mentioned they are currently preferred 9:1 on a study made by Current.com.