Okay, so like Kinzi I tend to have an issues-free blog. But, today I can't maintain that. Once in awhile something breaks through my usual preoccupation with all things driving and children related and I have to post about it. So, today I wanted to think out loud a bit about free speech. Now, as most of you are aware, I come from what we like to consider the home of free speech (not that it is, mind you, just that we like to THINK it is). So, I hope I know a tiny bit about this topic. In fact, I planned to blog on this from a different angle and one day likely will.
But, today I want to spend a few minutes on the recent situation with JordanBlogs. Reading my cyber-friend Bakkouz's awesome blog a week or so ago, I discovered that there has been some controversy regarding some blogs that JordanBlogs chose to remove from the blogrolls. Many of the commenters were posting about how it was anti-free speech. Puleeeease. (Okay sarcasm over for the moment, I had to get that out). But, maybe it was, let's see. What is free speech, after all? It's the ability to say whatever you'd like, right? Indeed. So, does this mean that JordanBlogs, by removing blogs from the blogroll, has the power to silence these voices? As far as I know, Abu Shreek is still blogging right along. I don't think that the removal from JordanBlogs has negatively impacted his ability to speak. But am I wrong here? Does JordanBlogs really have that kind of power over his life? I think not.
So, let's go a little deeper, who owns JordanBlogs? Is it mine because they chose to include me in the blogrolls? Absolutely not. My honest perception is that if I were passionate about making JordanBlogs mine, I would be a member of the advisory team. Or I would have provide support (financial, temporal, etc.) to Khaled when he was setting it up. The reality is that I was just thankful that someone decided to keep up the banner of Jordan Planet during its hiatus. But, I wasn't willing to own it. So, that means I don't have the right to make decisions on its behalf. But, the team that stepped forward does. I may not agree with their decisions, but I do need to respect them. If I'm that passionate about this, I should join up or shut up. But, let me tell you how I really feel :).
If JordanBlogs decided that MommaBean no longer represented a voice that they wanted on their blogroll, it wouldn't stop me from blogging (I was, after all, blogging before I became a member of JP). It would just mean that my lazy friends (who are just like me by the way) would need to bookmark my blog. Oh horrors! Honestly, I have all of my favorite blogs bookmarked. The ones that I visit occasionally I get from the blogroll, but the ones I visit daily, I have bookmarked. So, let's be clear JordanBlogs isn't impacting anyone's free speech. They haven't outed anyone or sent the Mukhabarat over to pick them up. All they've done is administered their small piece of cyberspace in the way they see fit. All of the affected bloggers still have access to other outlets to be aggregated. Even I know that and I'm not all that savvy nor all that into the scene. So, let's call this what it is, it's not free speech infringement, it's blogroll selection. If, one day, I no longer meet the criteria, banish me from the blogrolls. I won't be angry, disrespectful, or hateful. But, I do encourage JordanBlogs to decide what is okay and what is not, so that bloggers who are honestly worried about whether they are able to be aggregated know where the line is.
I seriously hope that Khaled and the team don't decide to give up JordanBlogs as a result of the mud-slinging going on. And I encourage each of you who care at all about JB remaining on-line to say thank you, something most of us have been quite remiss about. Thanks Khaled, thanks advisory team, I truly appreciate your passion and interest. You do the hard job so the rest of us can just sit here and complain...