Friday, February 23, 2007

JordanBlogs is anti-free speech? C'mon... let's be serious now.

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...

Happy speaking!


At 6:05 AM , Blogger kinzi said...

Yessss, Momma Bean! some great points I missed, and definately well said.

I'm giggling as I am one of the lazy ones..I don't want JP gone because I don't want to have to learn to bookmark or do the RSS subcription feed!

At 6:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you MommaBean, well said, and the funny thing is now a certain somebody is campaigning against JB and linking or comparing in some way JB with the Egyptian government's recent decision to lock way the blogger Kareem. i mean, how silly is that? :)

At 6:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan Blog is free too to decide who they wish to include or not. this is their project an they can do with it whatever they please. it's their RIGHT too to decide how they run THEIR website.

The funny thing is that many of the advocates of "free speech" routinely remove posts from their blogs they don't approve of. Hard to reconcile that with their newfound love for free speech on someone else's volunteer project like Jordan Blogs.

my 2 cents.

At 7:48 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Kinzi, I had to laugh when I saw your post as well. Bakkouz, your post is the first I was aware as none of the blog changes affected me, but I think making any comparison between JB and the Egyptian government goes far beyond melodramatic all the way to just plain ludicrous. Anonymous, thanks for your comment. I don't know how many of those on the other side of this moderate comments, but I do know that all of us, as humans, have tendencies toward hypocracy. As a result, we should think twice before casting stones.

At 6:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is definitely no problem with Khaled and JB administrators removing whichever blog they choose to, the problem could be if they were pressured to do so, and they never made a clear statement that this is not the case.

the whole approach you took towards this issue was not very impressive. Even your "post" was filled with pointing fingers that went as far as criticizing peoples loyalties and "Jordanity", which you have no right to do. Plus there is no need for shaddy references to "certain people". You think someone took a wrong approach in dealing with a certain situation, go ahead and say it clearly.
(And by the way, the issue of internal intelligence interference with the bloggosphere IS as serious as the Kareem issue)

At 6:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with you mommabean. I sent a message of support to Khaled as I think he has done a great job. And as you say it does not stop anyone from their normal blogging. I really enjoy reading Abu Shreek and still read him. Don't agree with all that he says but he puts a good argument and it is well written. I just hate the ranting ones. T

At 12:45 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Thanks, Anonymous squared for your comments. I appreciate your taking the time to express your thoughts.


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