Thursday, October 06, 2005

Free speech upheld for blogger...

I'm not going to get into the details of this court case that is linked above, but what it boils down to is that an anonymous blogger, much like us, happened to be hammering a politician and he was trying to make the blogger's service provider to give up their name. I'm not totally against what this blogger was doing, but obviously he was going about it in the wrong way. Luckily for him the politician's lawyer didn't do a very good job of presenting his case and the judge didn't want to set a precedence that would ultimately throw a monkey wrench into the barely regulated world of the internet and blogging.

He was basically taking pot shots at the politician's sexuality and going off on his wife and so forth. That's just juvenile. We've gone off on some politicians before but at least we keep it within the realm of the poor performance in their duties as elected officials.

And besides, lowering yourself to simple teenage insults is something that, while we enjoy using against each other in jest, really doesn't work when you are trying to be somewhat serious about your ideas. Sure we generally like to keep things light here at "The Affect", but sometimes you just want to go on a serious rant about how your hometown mayor stabbed the decades-old softball league in the back because she got a few phone calls from the right uncompromising people.

I was glad that this case ended the way it did. I would advise the anonymous blogger who was looking at a lawsuit to tone it down, but I'm glad it all worked out. The thing about the internet is that it provides a bigger voice to the people of our country and the world.

The fact of the matter is that, when it comes to the United States, now there are more watch dogs out there. Now if any single citizen is getting pushed around by the government or a huge company, they have a voice with a blog and the internet. I know that's conspiracy theory talk, but our Constitution has a "freedom of the press" amendment which means that the media gets to be a watch dog over everything. Sometimes traditional media can't cover every story or sometimes they don't even know that the story existed.

Having worked for a newspaper and radio station over the last 4 years has really shown me that people will come to us to be their voice.

Now the average citizen is the media and the internet provides them with a louder voice. That's why you see CNN talking about "citizen journalism" and showing camera phone photos and videos of the London Bombings and other huge stories from average everyday people.

In this age of technology we can all be the press if we want or chose to be and we wouldn't see traditional members of the media blogging and podcasting if it didn't have an impact.

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