Saturday, May 21, 2011


Interesting days regarding censorship. The internet is making it more and more difficult. The nonsense we're experiencing in the UK over super-injunctions is proving that. A famous footballer is now suing Twitter for revealing his name. Of course, nobody is allowed to say who he is. It must remain a complete mystery.

But I think we'd better watch what happens with the internet. I suspect in twenty years time we may look back on these halycon days when anything went and people could write and read what they wanted. It's bringing down governments, it's refusing to allow the privileged the secrecy they do not deserve, it's making people equal. I can't see it lasting like this. Expect a clamp-down


Douglas Bruton said...

There is, it seems to me, something dangerous with what goes on in ether-world... that people can make comments anonymously for one thing and so not be held accountable for what is said. This gives rise to all sorts of bad stuff.

And then the fact that people can set themselves up as experts and achieve a wide following and the expertise they have is limited and their intellect limited too, and still people don't seem to see it.

It's bad enough that so much of what is read (and was ever read) in newspapers isn't worth the wrapping for our fish and chips, is fabrication and distortion and untruth; now, it seems, we have the internet doing it on a grander scale and leaving a permanent stain in the world.

And then what kids hang up on social network sites - with no sense of how this might come back to bite them in the future, and too young to care about that anyway. What lies ahead will indeed be interesting.

And everything known, every breath and spit and fart that everyone ever did? And making us all equal? Never. This is a frontierland, and might still rules... it just might be that the definition of 'might' has changed a little. And maybe a more civilised etherworld beckons.

Tom Conoboy said...

There's some mighty fine straw man building here.

In the case I'm discussing, as far as I'm aware there is no question of the individual disputing the veracity of the claims. He simply wants them covered up. There is no fabrication or untruth.

From that, you are extending an argument to castigate what you consider a self-appointed elite. And having invented this elite, you then question their intelligence. Those are impressive leaps of logic.

You then jump on to the moral high ground and bemoan the permanent stain left on the world.

All this in response to a story about a footballer who can't keep his dick in his trousers.

Douglas Bruton said...

I agree, Tom, that I was a bit all over the place with that last comment. Sorry. Just the mood I was in. And maybe that speaks to the point, too, for elsewhere my comments might have gone unchallenged... it takes an intellect to appreciate the leaps in the logic.

I don't know the footballer that you refer to here or his story. What I do know is that the story, whatever it is, is never quite so simple as newsprint or google-speak would picture it. If ever you have been on the other end of such mis-reporting you would have a serious sceticism about what is and is not the true story in anything.

As for my comment to your post, it seeks to highlight several different concerns about the internet. I am a teacher and have seen first hand the sometimes foolhardy use that teenagers can put the social networking sites to. And I wonder if such foolish revelations, permanently recorded, might act against them in the future, a future where the press and the public relish every salacious detail of a person's past, especially where that person is high up or in the public eye.

And the internet is a frontierland, in so many respects. The law is struggling to catch up with where it is leading in all sorts of areas. On the internet a person can be publicly named, tried and condemned without the whole story being known, a sort of hysterical justice. Tell me I am wrong to be concerned about that. Tell me this is straw-man building, show me it is and I can be reassured that we are not all off to hell in a handcart - albeit a technologically super-powered handcart.