Blogs are great, aren’t they?
From the moment the first blog took shape, people realised there was a platform for communication which enabled them to share their thoughts, feelings and opinions with the world on a fair and personal platform, that any person in the entire world could access as long as they had a PC of some sort, a keyboard, and web access.
Blogging has become as much a part of our culture as TV, radio and Fish and Chips.
When we pop on to a service provider’s site, we expect to be able to read up on their views of their industry at the same time as we check out their product suite and see what prices they are providing to customers.
It’s as if blogging became popular because of its very accessibility, and this positive trait means that more blogs are launched every day than we could possibly read in a lifetime.
The reason why blogging can be contentious
There is a flip-side to this accessibility, though.
The fact that anyone in the world can set up a blog within a few minutes and start to express their views can be a negative, as well as positive, capability.
There’s an interesting discussion to be had about the ethics, morality and ‘political correctedness of online freedom. Sometimes, people express views that might be better off censored’, but this in turn leads to a huge number of questions about democracy, freedom of speech and the lack of governance available online.
Have you ever read a blog that made you feel simply disgusted; that had the power to make you turn away, feeling angry, powerless at the lack of censorship or simply shocked that someone with very extreme views was empowered to publish?
This response is growing much more common as the World Wide Web is used by every single individual from every type of religion, political dissuasion or belief system.
Along with blogs supporting survivors of the Holocaust, there are an equal number stating that this event simply didn’t exist.
For every person on Death Row who is covered in a blog, there is another site demanding their release and stating their innocence.
Pornography sits online sharing space with religious fundamentalism.
Feminists stand shoulder to shoulder with misogynists.
People of one political persuasion battle online with others holding diametrically opposing views.
The fine line between freedom of speech and offensiveness
How do you feel about this platform for free expression?
Is there a point at which the internet should be policed more than it is?
I swing from opinion to opinion, sometimes. I can read a blog which is so full of conviction and strength that I applaud the author for having the courage to speak out about a potentially inflammatory subject, and then I can stumble across an opposing blog that makes me wonder if there shouldn’t be more restrictions about what we can publish online.
Why blogs lend themselves to tough subjects
Television has always been subject to very rigid rules and regulations.
We pretty much know that if our kids watch a programme before 9 pm, it’s going to be safe for them to see.
Online, however, everything changes.
Children can access sites that we would be shocked to discover were even online in the first place.
For me, I think good blogs go ‘bad’ when they publish content that would not be welcome in any other format.
It’s when the platform is abused, because individuals take the freedom of speech and lack of governance in blogging and turn it to their advantage by publishing material that would be prohibited elsewhere.
What are your views on this?
I’d really welcome your opinion on whether blogs should be more heavily policed, and whether or not you’ve encountered a good blog that went ‘bad’.
Share you views in the comments below and let us know!