4 Apr 2005

So why are authoritarian governments so worried about blogging?



'Revolution'
Blogging is a very, very important tool in terms of freedom of expression Julien Pain, Reporters Sans Frontières

Perhaps it is because the internet is so virulent.

In the same way that spammers can reach millions of people in an easy way, ideas deemed dangerously democratic by many regimes can spread faster than bacteria on a petri-dish.
Julien Pain, of Reporters Sans Frontières, says: "Blogging is a very, very important tool in terms of freedom of expression.

"Even if you don't know html or how to set up your own website, using a blog without any technical skill you can become a publisher.

"That's why it is so interesting. It is a kind of a revolution now.

"In a country like Iran people couldn't express themselves and now they can, because they are using blogs to tell the world about what they are living and their conditions."

But bloggers are not just getting under the skin of authoritarian regimes.
In the West, particularly in America, they are also making waves among traditional journalists.

5 comments:

akikonomu said...

Interesting post.
Our ST will show that blogging is (if not encouraged) reported regularly in its Tech section, where each week, a foreign or local blog would be featured.

Occasionally, a 'political blog' would be featured, such as yours.

Steve, does this show that Singapore's authoritarian government is not worried about blogging? How would you reconcile Singapore's actions with the general direction of this post?

soci said...

I think that at the moment there is generally very little interest, among the Singaporean population of 4 million, in blogs. Have a look at Mr Browns statistics and it is a very small percentage of the alleged 50% of Singaporean internet users. So blogs may not be perceived within Singapore as being a main source of information.

And as far as I am aware, I believe this blog has been referred to once last year.

Things may or may not change once the PAP call for an election.

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