Blogs Becoming Free Speech Medium
Around the world, those who had quietly smoldered for fear of offending the powers that be have found a voice in blogs. For many, the blogosphere has become an anonymous cry to the masses. For the brave, not so anonymous, but equally as scathing, sounding boards are giving them words they hadn’t dared utter in public.
In Egypt, blogs are popping up voicing serious concerns about the upcoming presidential elections, when the bloggers claim President Hosni Mubarak will claim a fixed victory.
Anonymous blogger, Baheyya opines on a Mubarak photo op:
“Is it just me, or is there something deeply offensive about this particular frame? I don’t know why, but out of the dozens of contrived and awkward poses released by Mubarak’s campaign, this one stands out for me as particularly galling. For its shameless exploitation of the lovely Egyptian tradition of khamseena tea in afternoon. For the cynical evocation of filial respect. For the unsightly expression on Mubarak’s face. For the ruthless use of this woman’s genuine smile and generous offering as a mere election prop. Mubarak and his handlers’ sordid efforts to negate 24 years of his well-known aloofness and indifference to ordinary Egyptians have surpassed all decency.”
Those are strong words for a woman in the Middle East, words that could get the Egyptian into serious trouble. Hers is just one of 80 Egyptian political blogs that have sprung up recently, many of which are critical of the president.
As most newspapers are state-owned or directly connected with political parties, blogs are offering new and hitherto unknown luxury, as told by the AP.
In China as well, as blogs are repeatedly censored by the state, the communist country is inadvertently publicizing undesirables by shutting them down. Blog phenom Sister Furong, recently shut down by the speech police, has hit higher stardom as online movie makers offer her roles in their productions.
It is still too early to tell if the blogosphere will have a real impact on societies and government, but it seems a step in the right direction for those who love freedom of speech.