This opens up a whole can of "free speech" worms that will be hotly debated, but one thing really bugs me about all this. I am sick and tired of hearing about "blog" this and "blogger" that in reference to comments at sites like the News Sentinel.
I know that sounds trivial, but it matters and here's why.
People who should know better throw the term "blogging" around as a catch-all to describe every kind of internet writing. The media does it, and even supposedly educated professionals such as lawyers (see the WBIR link above) who presumably research their cases yet still use the terms incorrectly in their arguments.
Morons with a keyboard and a couple of functioning brain cells at these sites call themselves "bloggers" and consider spewing idiocy and hate speech to be "blogging" on comment sections they call "blogs."
You won't find such socially retarded extremist commentary and hate speech on any respectable blogs -- not even the most extreme conservative blogs. Some of it creeps in to comments from time to time, but responsible bloggers at least try to moderate it. I'm sure there are plenty of racist and inappropriate blogs out there, but I don't read them and I'm guessing you don't either and neither do most other people.
But people do read newspaper and other news media websites. Why mainstream media wants to provide a home for this stuff and defend it is a mystery to me. Well, not really, as discussed here before.
Judge Baumgartner seems to get it, though. According to the News Sentinel, he told their lawyers "It's a commercial site. It's a site run for commercial purposes. This is not the Internet. This is a site created by you in which you invite comments. This is something you control."
Something you control. Or not as the case may be.
Anyway, the point is that the terms "blog," "blogger," and "blogging" have been hijacked, co-opted and corrupted by idiots and some people who should know better. Blogging has taken on a negative connotation that is undeserved. Any semblance of responsibility and respectability has been lost and will never be regained.
And that's why bloggers should stop using the term. I strongly urge writers formerly known as bloggers to start using the term "new media" or "independent media" (or something -- suggestions?) instead of "blog," the term "citizen journalist" or "new/independent media reporter/writer" for "blogger," and "new/independent media publishing" or just "internet publishing" instead of "blogging."
Blogs are dead. Long live independent media writing. Or something. And thanks a lot to the creeps who killed blogging.
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