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.