Monday, August 28, 2006

BLOGG OFF

I think it is very sad that the very people who you would think that by natural selection would defend freedom of speech (aka Bloggers), are sometimes the first to call for censorship. I have been reading Indonesian Blogsphere posts calling for accountability (?) of other bloggers (never themselves mind you). Accountability will always be a fairly evil word when applied to the media, blogs or any other form of communication. Any restrictions on free speech rarely remain benign. The problem is and always will be “Who checks the checker”?

Have you ever heard one of these censor advocates say "That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me?" (Joseph Henry Jackson). The very assumption that people (besides the censors) cannot choose for themselves what to read or see is arrogance at its most oppressive.

Almost invariably, the people calling for “accountability” are not really concerned with the facts or the truth no matter how much that they protest the same. These insecure souls want you to be accountable for dragging them outside of their comfort zone and their cozy (and sometimes perverse) little view of the world.

There is no need for censorship in any place let alone amongst bloggers. One of the major advantages of the blogsphere is a lie or falsehood has a very short half-life . Yes, the hate sites remain but they too are quickly exposed to all but the brain dead as little more than the rantings of lunatics.

I believe the “blog” self regulates to huge degree, particularly in our smaller blog world here in Indonesia. Most of us operate on an “open comments” basis (albeit with moderation enabled to kill the spam and mindless bad language and threats). This alone means any obvious bullsh*t will be exposed in a matter of minutes. A pretty simple rule is, if a blogger won’t let you comment with a different opinion then dump the page, its crap and deserves to be treated as such.

On a personal blog note, I love the “inane” comments that sometimes come along with my posts and others such as “Check your Facts” or “You don’t know what you are talking about” Whilst that is probably true in a lot of cases, the comment on its own without providing an alternative or at least a link to demonstrate the error is a waste of the time it takes to comment (Its also lazy and troll like behaviour).

Blog’s are many things to many people, to some they are an online version of the “The diary of Adrain Mole” complete with minute by minute updates of their loves and losses (I will never understand the attraction but hey). To other people, their blog is an opinionated version of current social/political events. This is the beauty of blogging everyone gets to have a say.

Whatever is blogged doesn’t really matter. Invariably the blog takes on a bias of its own. To call for accountability (??) because someone doesn’t meet your view of what “blog-able” is a sign of an immature and insecure society/person. The fundamental principles of freedom of speech (coming back to the “who checks the checkers “principle again) is far more important than any one person’s feelings or prejudices.

This doesn’t mean you can slander someone or print an untruth in a deliberate attempt to hurt someone. There are already laws against slander in the vast majority of countries in the world, including Indonesia.

In a very short time, we know what we are going to get when we check any blog and as the sign says “enter at your own risk”. For example, If I drop into Jakartass then I will get social commentary with a green bent. Indcoup provides social commentary with a distinctly coarse and cynical edge. IndoMatters will normally manage to raise the ire of some with commentary on the more “out-there” pressure groups and quasi-government follies (he is certainly provided with heaps of material by some loons). Yosef provides succinct and informative information on the Indonesian business and Political world, and of course Greenstump he just mucks about and fills his page with whatever fills his head that day.

So in summary, if you don’t like what is said because you don’t like the perceptions of the facts, the sources or the links or even the bias then I can only suggest in the nicest possible way its time to get a grip or …...”BLOGG OFF”.

P.S. If you are going to accuse someone of lacking credibility, it pays to provide a counter argument otherwise yells of common sense and accountability are just so much white noise.

12 comments:

IndCoup said...

Indcoup provides social commentary with a distinctly coarse and cynical edge.

Thanks a lot! I'm gonna hold you accountable for that comment!!!

I like you, like to read loads of different opinions from the left, right, whatever. Disagreement is fine.

The only thing I would add is that it is up to bloggers to get their facts right whatever their opinion. That's all.

Parinduri said...

I believe the “blog” self regulates to huge degree, particularly in our smaller blog world here in Indonesia. Most of us operate on an “open comments” basis (albeit with moderation enabled to kill the spam and mindless bad language and threats). This alone means any obvious bullsh*t will be exposed in a matter of minutes.

Exactly the opposite, I think. Because Indonesia's blogosphere is very small, bullsh*t will not always be exposed. Sooner or later, people are just tired of pointing out somebody's wrong analysis or conclusions.

But, I guess you are right: If you don't like some blogs, just stop visiting them.

oigal said...

Indcoup....laugh as I said all in the perspective..mate. For instance...I hate
LP with a passion, left wing commie bastards! every time I get into an agruement with them they tear me pieces (they are smarter than me) but its fun and a challenge and I have never felt the need to resort to threats unlike some.

Parinduri...In that instance I was really refering to the wider blog world but I take your point..however..why the great need to point out somebody's wrong analysis or conclusions. Is it so bad I or anyone else draw a different analysis or conclusion than someone else as long as the basic facts are the same. Its a big world and there should be room for us all.

treespotter said...

ha ha, so, someone's telling me to blog off? cool, never had that before.

i wasn't talking about slander, i was talking about serial misquoting out of context. To cosistently quote secondary sources and paraphrased them seriously mislead people into percepting bias in other people/media. which was my initial concern.

and, where those guys are concerned, i accuse them of having no credibility - not to mention copyrights infringements.

but then again, i guess you can quote loony tunes if that's the argument you're proposing. it's only a blog, i guess people are smart enough to listen to Loony Tunes if they want to.

and oh, accoutability has never been a fairly evil word in media. in fact, to claim yourself as a media - or more accurately, member of the press - is ALL about accountability. Otherwise, you will always be another inane rants.

oigal said...

Laugh... T/s You are claiming too much glory as the muse for this post (granted I did steal some of your lines) but don't assume the post is all about you (where have I heard that before..mmm)..There are also people that seem to be suggesting a full cv before you should blog (spooky..perhaps along the lines of Singapore's Speakers Corner,,and that is really scary).
Another blogger again seemed to be suggesting that Expats should not comment on Indonesia at all as they were only visitors (which is another issue ..damn hard to be anything else here) and yet another suggested ...etc etc..so sorry not all about you ..some maybe but not all..

Serial misquoting ..If I did that then I would expect a quote and example in the comments section..at least give chance to readers the opportunity to judge for themselves

Bias or perception..or another viewpoint? Perhaps it is me but they does seem to be a degree of hyper sensativity here..

There are far worse blogs around, one by expat seriously sick and anti Islam and in reverse one by an Indonesian seriously sick and anti western but in general I find our crowd fairly tame and predictable including IM and yourself

Accountability..I guess it still comes to and I still do not have an answer yet..accountable to who (or is to whom?)..

Media..I for one would never claim that...1/2 arsed, barely literate blogger would possibly be the best I could hope for.

Anyway, is always fun to agrue with you!! cheers mate..

p.s. Instead of getting cranky with some of the bloggers perhaps you should get cranky with the idiots making some of the "news" statments its like shooting fish in a barrel to amke fun of them.. check out Jakartass and the statements made in support tof nuclear energy

Parinduri said...

...why the great need to point out somebody's wrong analysis or conclusions. Is it so bad I or anyone else draw a different analysis or conclusion than someone else as long as the basic facts are the same. Its a big world and there should be room for us all.

Let me put it this way: do you think there is a need to confront your neigbour who, based on careless analysis, keep saying bad things about you?

My point is this: the need is always there. It's just that sometimes it doesn't worth doing it anymore.

oigal said...

Hi Parinduri.. Fair point taken (with qaulifications)..

Survey's are normally dodgy at the best of times and have more to do with the framing of the question than the response. For example: "Do you think there is a need to confront your neigbour who, based on careless analysis, keep saying bad things about you? ..Answer Yes..

or..Is your neighbout entitled to free speech and to speak his mind even though his conclusions may disagree with yours... Answer ..YES

But its the same question framed in another way to achieve a desired result.

However I have read your blog and the other today..and I can make my own opinion based on different perceptions..that does not make yours or anyone elses invalid by default.

Parinduri said...

Hi Oigal,

I don't disagree with your basic point: everybody is free to write whatever they want to. There's plenty of room in the blogosphere, even for bigots :)

I just want to illustrate that, in our small Indonesia's blogosphere, bullsh*t will not always be exposed.

As I understand it, perhaps the point of some of us in the debate here, at Treespotter, or at AFSyuhud is like what Indcoup writes: "it is up to bloggers to get their facts right whatever their opinion"

Enough said. Cheers!

oigal said...

Sheehs.. I was nearly not going to publish the last comment..but after all I have just said (sorta painted myslef into a corner..

Can the direct blogger to blogger issues be done blog to blog so to speak..its not my intention to start a "personal" fight here.

Lets see I have managed to piss off Treespotter, Patung and Parinduri...Not a bad (or good) days work..

Do you consider me a bigot or was that bigots (or is it bigotii) in general?


cheers

oigal said...

"ha ha... i was the one calling you a bigot, mssr mannequin, not him"

huh???? too subtle for me..remember I am just a country boy

... If thats for me ..can you explain..if its for IM can we take it over to his place coz its messing up my backyard..

oigal said...

Hi All,

Nothing personal but any further direct references to other bloggers (except those in jest) will be deleted.

As will current ones (I will leavew them there for 24 hours in the interests of free speech) but all in all they are too personal and with a bit too much animosity for me..

Funny, or really stupid abuse of myself will be left for the amusement of all..

Anonymous said...

emm. bookmarked post :)