Keeping free speech in the balance?

I’m not quite sure what’s been going on at the excellent new Irish Economy blog since the thread concerned has been wiped. But Gerard and John think there is some very suspicious about it… According to one commenter on John’s blog, the piece itself appears to have consisted of little more than linking to Morgan ‘briomhar’ dumping on the Irish Government’s plans for the Anglo Irish Bank. Gerard suspects foul play from inside an institution, “the incident strikes at the heart of academic freedom (as it is mainly academic economists who contribute to the blog)”. Slugger has no problem with reasonable requests to remove inflammatory material. In fact we encourage our readers and contributors to bring such material directly to our notice. And we deal with it as swiftly as possible.

But regarding intellectual content, the line should be drawn in favour of freedom of thought. That takes courage and the provision of significant latitude from established hierarchical organisations experimenting with the new conversational engagement, whether through blogs or other forms of new-fangled social media.

And, ultimately, you need to be prepared to stand your ground when you hit a few nerves, and the inevitable jostling comes.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty