A Blogger's Manifesto: Free Speech and Censorship in the Age by Erik Ringmar

Political Freedom

By Erik Ringmar

There has been by no means this type of factor as actual freedom of speech. some time past, so that it will converse freely you needed to have entry to a printing press, a newspaper, a radio or a television station. And in all places you needed to get previous the editors. in simple terms participants of the elite ever did – the articulate and well-behaved 'representatives' of normal humans. yet these traditional humans hardly ever, if ever, had an opportunity to talk publicly and freely.  Until now. The age of running a blog has all started. the net revolution has given us all an opportunity to be irreverent, blasphemous and ungrammatical in public. we will be able to demonstrate secrets and techniques, blow whistles, spill beans or simply make stuff up.   The outdated elites do not like it. actually, they honestly, quite hate it. Blogs are regularly close down, and bloggers are silenced, reprimanded and fired from their jobs. by surprise smooth liberal society finds a repressive face that few people knew existed.   should still we behave ourselves? may still we fall silent? completely now not! Let's name them on their hypocrisy. Let's call for that sleek liberal society lives by means of the rules it claims to embody. Bloggers of the area, unite! you don't have anything to lose yet your gags.

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Extra info for A Blogger's Manifesto: Free Speech and Censorship in the Age of the Internet

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The two go together like student dorms and disabled smoke alarms. Still, most universities have been slow in grasping the magnitude of the transformation. Just take a look at the home page of any randomly chosen university. It’s so obviously designed by consultants. You’ll find a generic corporate site with pictures of engagedlooking professors in front of blackboards and groups of students – of suitable ethnic mix – smiling at each other on campus lawns. That’s no way to communicate with the most web-savvy, and most cynical, segment of the human population.

Qxd 01/08/2007 12:46 PM Page 35 3 Free Speech and Censorship at the LSE After all the excitement of the first month of writing, I was looking forward to some peace and quiet. The entries about penis-drawing colleagues and scimitar-wielding Muslim madmen were archived by my blogging software and neatly stashed away behind a hyperlink where only the truly curious would find them. I began looking for new subjects. It was easy. Academics after all make a living out of pontificating. Give us today’s headlines and we’ll give you an instant lecture.

Friends, family and colleagues may have their suspicions of course but if you don’t reveal too many personal details you should be OK. As a result people say things in anonymous blogs they would never dare saying in the offline world. Anonymity makes blogs different from other public media. True, journalists have always protected the anonymity of their sources and newspapers sometimes have gossip columns written under pseudonyms, but in a blog it is possible to completely hide your identity or to completely misrepresent it.

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