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The Power of Blogging and Politics

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Brown, Cameron, Clegg hoping to get to No 10

Blogging may seem like a harmless pastime for most people, but it actually wields a great deal of power and influence when it is in the hands of a savvy author.

It makes sense that this should be the case, as blogging has a number of capabilities as a vehicle, that other media lacks.

A blog is accessible from anywhere as long as someone has an internet connection, and can be updated from mobile phones or through software like Microsoft Word.

It is arguably the easiest, cheapest and most simple form of communication once it’s up and running well.

Whereas in the past, people who had something to say had to commit their concepts to paper, now with a few keystrokes and a submit button they can share their views with a potential audience of millions, instantly.

Unsurprisingly, politicians have been quite quick to seize upon this opportunity. In addition to traditional canvassing and publishing, more and more influential figures are opting to harness the power of the humble blog to share their views and persuade their audience.

Notable figures in the virtual world

Blogging is taking off as a popular means for communicating for notable people.

Tom Cruise blogs about Scientology,

Prince Harry writes of his time in Afghanistan, and even David Cameron has an online diary.

Bill Gates blogs, as does Stephen Fry, when he is not flipping out and getting offended by comments on Twitter.

More and more people are realising that they can enhance their popularity and reach their audience quickly, without having to engage with physical activities such as personal appearances and autograph signing!

The pitfalls of political blogging

Blogging can sometimes have unforeseen consequences in politically sensitive areas.

Blogs are much harder to control than broadcast or even print media. As a result, totalitarian and authoritarian regimes often seek to suppress blogs or punish those who maintain them.

In Singapore, two ethnic Chinese were imprisoned under the country’s anti-sedition law for posting anti-Muslim remarks in their blogs.

Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer was charged with insulting the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and an Islamic institution through his blog.

It is the first time in the history of Egypt that a blogger was prosecuted.

After a brief trial session that took place in Alexandria, the blogger was found guilty and sentenced to prison terms of three years for insulting Islam and inciting sedition, and one year for insulting Mubarak.

After expressing opinions in his personal blog about the state of the Sudanese armed forces, Jan Pronk, United Nations Special Representative for the Sudan, was given three days notice to leave Sudan.

The Sudanese army had demanded his deportation.

In Myanmar, Nay Phone Latt, a blogger, was sentenced to 20 years in jail for posting a cartoon critical of head of state Than Shwe.

These extreme reactions are testament to the power and recognition which blogging now commands.

No longer a simple platform for hobbyists, blogging has changed over the past few years, becoming one of the most powerful mediums for communication that there is.

What on-line stories do you remember that have made a world wide impact?

Please share your views in the comments below.


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12 Responses to The Power of Blogging and Politics

  1. Alex April 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    I have friends in Russia who ran a blog that was essentially about criticizing Putin.

    6 Months in, after getting about 2,000 subscribers, their computers were stolen and their hosting accounts hacked, on the same day…

    Coincidence? I don’t think so – political blogging can definitely be dangerous depending on where you are.
    .-= Alex´s last blog ..Blog Review: New Horizons 123 =-.

  2. Chuck Edwards April 23, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    Yes, blogs can be very powerful and seem to be a platform that works well for discussing political issues. They probably work so well in connecting with the masses because it’s so easy to criticize and write emotionally charged posts.
    .-= Chuck Edwards@Weight Loss Tips´s last blog ..Obesity In America =-.

    • Andrew April 27, 2010 at 11:18 am #


      Controversy type posts do go viral and grab a huge amount of attention.

      Blogs allow people to hide behind them and say what they want. They feel protected.

      Bit like angry car drivers!

      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Blogging and Dieting take a lot Perseverance =-.

  3. Dennis Edell April 24, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    “three years for insulting Islam and inciting sedition, and one year for insulting Mubarak”

    Think the president was pissed more at the blogger or the sentencing? LOL!
    .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..TweetMeme Installed! I Have Some Questions… =-.

  4. Julius Kuhn-Regnier April 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    Blogging has changed a lot to be honest. There are even people getting fired because they blog about their job. But politics is an even worse topic especially in certain countries 😛
    .-= Julius Kuhn-Regnier´s last blog ..7 Real Life Bloggers to Inspire You =-.

  5. Julius April 25, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    This makes me realize the global influence blogs now have. I particularly like the bits of international news you shared in this post.
    .-= Julius´s last blog ..Why Is Braille on Drive-Through ATMs? =-.

  6. Melvin April 27, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    the impact of blogging really is bigger than what most people think. I mean like here in Philippines there was even one time wherein it was used to get donations to a city that was hit by a huge typhoon.

    Its just refreshing to hear those kinds of stories.
    .-= Melvin´s last blog ..Blogging Without Borders, Why Location Is Not a Limitation =-.

  7. Ray Jasper Palmer April 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    Because this is the influence of InfoTech world now. And one way to hear out through line is using of Blogging, which is an open letter to everyone expressing thoughts, ideals, aspirations. Each one of us is unique way of personality, that we need to embossed what’s inside out. But be careful of expressing your freedom, it may conflict other’s interest.
    .-= Ray Jasper Palmer´s last blog ..EPT Monte Carlo: Day 1b is over =-.

    • Andrew April 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

      True – we are all unique and express our thoughts in different ways.

      Sometimes it is worth keeping some thoughts to ourselves.

      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..How to create awareness for your blog =-.

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