Today, Kate at Itisi got a bit of inspiration from an earlier post of mine, and wrote something particularly poignant on her blog:
People should be allowed to use the internet freely, the growing number of calls for restrictions and regulation are, on the whole, being made by organisations who have much to gain from making the web less free. Whether it is a dictatorship wanting to pull the wool over the eyes of [its] citizens, or a religious group crying ‘but think of the children’ or a multi-national company who wish to keep their brand on top, all have a vested interest in regulating what you and I are allowed to see.
She is right. Some groups have everything to lose if things were transparent and honest. Found at Trevor Cook’s Corporate Engagement blog last week was a post linking to a New York Times article on corporate blogging.
The article details the displeasure many companies in the US have because their interns and employees decide to blog. Rather than seeing the funny side, which is what I expected, the Comedy Channel clamped down on one intern.
The ﬂip side is that the silenced blogger is the folk hero of the early 21st century. A few who were silenced have gone on to do greater things. I think of my acquaintances, such as Ellen Simonetti, who was ﬁred from Delta Air Lines due to photographs on her blog. The New York Times cites several others, notably Jessica Cutler, whose Washingtonienne blog is now a novel:
But it is the success stories that can embolden a determined blogger. Ms. Kreth was able to create her own public relations business out of the fallout. Because of his blog, Mr. Shannon was asked to be on a television pilot. For Mr. McDonald, the Comedy Central intern, it was the call of literary agents.
They are only celebrities because they tap in to something we all have inside. One is the desire for freedom of speech. The second is that they have managed to go up against bigger organizations and came out as survivors at the other end.
Sure, these blogs are not as noble as those that come out from countries where the blogger is literally under threat of imprisonment or death—those people are truly heroes—but they show how the internet is in a struggle to be free. Many blogs ﬁght the control of government institutions and corporations, expressing something that is a part of being human. Posted by Jack Yan, 09:41
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