21 December, 2005

Can Your Blog be used Against You?

WXP News Dec 20 05



Can Your Blog be used Against You?

Blogging is all the rage these days; it seems as if everybody who's anybody has one (or several). A blog, or Web log, functions as a high-tech version of a long-time tradition, the personal journal. It's a chronological record of one's thoughts, comments, opinions, or whatever else you want to write about that day. MSN, Google, Blogger.com and many other services provide free blogging space to anyone who wants to sign up.

Some blogs are information-oriented, such as the many tech blogs posted by IT professionals to share tips and how-to's about computer topics. Some are more editorial in nature, such as the many blogs that exist to promote the authors' political opinions and commentary. Others have more of a "dear diary" tone, relating intimate details of the authors' lives and feelings.

Some blogs are highly publicized. Celebrities such as Wil Wheaton of Star Trek fame, singer Barbra Streisand and columnist Dave Barry are high profile bloggers. But millions of "regular old people" also have blogs (estimates of the number of blogs online range from 10 million to 60 million or more world-wide). Note, however, that millions of blogs are started and then abandoned within weeks or months. The number of currently active blogs (those to which the author is posting regularly) is much lower.

Click here for the rest of the article.

EDIT by secretdubai - article abridged and links converted, for easier reading ;)


BuJ said...

Informative & interesting.

secretdubai said...

Super article - I abridged it for copyright reasons, in case the orginal publishers object to a full c&p. And converted the links in the first para for easier clicking!

sheikha cheryl said...

Would free speech protection be upheld since all of us are accessing servers in the US to post our blogs? With globalization comes interesting questions regarding free speech. Accessing servers in the US creates alarming questions about how much of our personal information is being monitored and stored. Since we are discussing free speech, we are speaking of the UAE which technically doesn't have free speech, so I see this as a large grey area in all respects. Blogs pose an interesting question regarding what is personal or "freedom of the press" since citizens from all walks of life are now accessing the WWW to blog.

Slagothor said...

Depends what you mean by "free speech protection."

The US constitution says this:

(trimmed for brevity)

Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;

So the United States Constitution protects you from having the US Federal government supress your speech.

Unfortunately, too many people think this means they can say whatever they want, whenever they want. But the First Amendment does not trump property rights, so if you work for somebody or are on their property, then that person can either supress your speech or ask you to leave their property or employ.

Furthermore, the US constitution does not apply to the governments of other countries. So the US government certainly will not get involved if a foreign government clamps down on you even if your electrons flow through a server in Virginia.

ORB-UAE - Creative Club said...

Hi Secret,

Thanks for editing that! I wanted to add the links etc. before posting but was hard pressed for time. I'll follow your guidelines for posting articles...btw maybe we should have official guidelines for posting here.


Noisy American said...

Interesting article and something I think about quite a lot. I often wonder about people that post everything and anything that enters their heads without thinking about who might actually be reading. Just last week, my friend read the blog of someone she was dating and found out he already had a girlfriend. He lied to her, but blogged it to the world.

More seriously, in the UAE, there are topics that I feel are really untouchable - sexuality, women's rights, Etisalat, etc. Not sure if I'm just being too paranoid or if I'm making a wise decision.

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