Blogs & Public Discourse

In searching for information on Michael Moore’s Farhenheit 9/11, I came across a number of blogs discussing the power of this film. Clearly I’ve just entered the realm of blogging and am starting to see how these spaces are the new town square. This is where public sphere, public discourse is happening.

The Boston Globe published:

Whether this is a useful addition to the political process is subject to question. But the most fervent blog proponents have been talking like apostles. Blogs, they predict, are harbingers of a new, interactive culture that will change the way democracy works, turning voters into active participants rather than passive consumers, limiting the traditional media’s role as gatekeeper, and giving the rank-and-file voter unparalleled influence.

It will be interesting once the power of these spaces are understood, what regulatory and corporate control will find to squelch this “speech”.

FCC Commission Michael Cops (the lone voice fighting to keep our communication structures open), wrote this recently in the Mercury Sun News:

The Internet was designed to defeat government or business control and to thwart discrimination against users, ideas or technologies. Intelligence and control were consciously placed at the ends of a non-discriminatory network. Anyone could access the Internet, with any kind of computer, for any type of application, and read or say pretty much what they wanted.

Later in the article he writes:

Think about what could happen if your broadband provider could discriminate. It could decide which news sources or political sites you could view. It could prevent you from using children’s Internet filtering technology that it didn’t sell or that filtered out its own Web sites. It could prevent you from using spam-jamming programs to block its spam. It could impose restrictions on the use of virtual private networks by telecommuters and small businesses to keep them as paying customers of the public network. It could limit access to streaming video to protect its core content business. Sound far-fetched? It’s already beginning to happen.

This Internet may be dying. At the behest of powerful interests, the FCC is buying into a warped vision that open networks should be replaced by closed networks and that the FCC should excuse broadband providers from longstanding non-discrimination requirements.

For academic look at blogs visit In the Blogshere