Monday, January 08, 2007

You have every right to be as stupid and cowardly as you want to be

Having a rather wide anti-authoritarian streak, I chafe at people telling me what to do. Especially when it comes to laying down rules for something as widespread and diverse as the blogosphere.

As far as I'm concerned, people should be able to write what they want on their blog (barring libel--in which case all bets are off). Its a freedom of speech issue in my book.

But freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from criticism. If someone says something buck-assed stupid on their blog then they should expect to take some heat. Controversial topics are also akin to flinging a red cape at a bull--expect to feel the business end of the horns when those things are broached.

This sort of expectation extends in the blogosphere not just to discussion topics but sometimes to the issues surrounding how a blogger chooses to conduct business at his/her site.

This conduct itself can in fact stir controversy.

The goings-on over at JackBog's blog are a mess of his own making. He's opened a Pandora's Box for himself. Trying to sit on the lid and pretend he didn't act like a complete ass won't change that.

In addition, I'll be the first person to stand in line to defend Jack's right to block any commentor he wants from his blog.

But does that mean he should be free from criticism for doing it?

Not on your life. A blog which deliberatly posts provocative and outrageous material in an effort to stoke something (whether it be personal ego, pet issues or blatant stupidity--I haven't discerned if Jack's motives are one or all of these things--or something else entirely) while also blocking select commentors is cowardice, in my view.

Certainly if a person doesn't like what Bogdanski saying and can't comment there due to blocking--that person can start their own blog. But that's rather outside the point.

The point being of course that selective filtered blog comments give the impression that everyone is all one big happy family of non-dissenters.

To be clear (again), I'm not suggesting blog proprietors don't have a right to do this. Its simply a stupid and cowardly way to conduct business in the blogosphere.

And now back to your regular political blogging day.

This has been a public service announcement.