A lesson learned..?

If blogs are to be considered useful sources of feedback and comment, people need to stop treating them like public toilet walls. Speech may be free, but that doesn’t mean intelligent thought should fly out the window as well argues Grace Chua in Spiked. She was mildly chastising student bloggers in Singapore, who discovered that their right to free expression didn’t appear to extend to slagging off their teachers online…Chua adds:

Rather than clamping down on what gets written online, schools should be teaching students to give constructive, mature feedback, and to think critically about the public nature of the internet. But students are unlikely to learn how to be discerning if the rules about exactly what can and cannot be said are cut and dried.

All this fuss illustrates the downside of blogs. The biggest advantage of blogging is that anyone can do it. The biggest disadvantage of blogging is that anyone can do it. It’s all too easy to blog – all you need is internet access and a keyboard. Weblogs are a bit like graffiti in a public toilet: anonymous and of dubious provenance.

Student bloggers may make juvenile, off-the-cuff remarks online, but they are really only taking their lead from the adult blog culture that’s out there. For every quality blog providing thoughtful, critical analysis of the day’s issues – for every 2blowhards or Instapundit, for instance – there are 20 more personal blogs offering too much information about bloggers’ mundane daily lives.

Course, some blogs have standards. Just read the comments if you don’t believe me…

  • Butterknife

    In the film The American President (1995) the President says:

    ” … America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free…”

    But i think there is a definition between free speech and moral free speech and certain words used are simply lacking in morality, in other words we should abide in the Ethic of Reciprocity where we treat others the way we in turn would like to be treated or as close as possible.
    I always have went by the rule that if you resort to name calling etc you lose the argument no matter how ‘right’ one is. But i reserve the right to use Parliamentary insults;)

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