The loudest shouters

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
6:19 pm and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

Jonathan Freedland – The blogosphere risks putting off everyone but point-scoring males: Predictably, Wales and O’Reilly have now felt the wrath of the blogosphere themselves, their idea torched by net users who detected an assault on their free speech… Yet it would be a mistake to dismiss Wales and O’Reilly too quickly. Their specific remedy might not be sound, but they are right to see a problem. Nor is this some techie issue, of interest only to a few hardcore web nerds… Ah, but this free-for-all is democratic, say the devotees. Any change would be censorship. But imagine that public meeting. Would that constitute a democratic debate, or a shouting match in which the loudest, most intimidating voice wins? Surely the more democratic encounter is the meeting properly chaired, allowing everyone their say and ensuring no descent into bar-room brawl. That’s certainly how we operate in the real world, so why should the virtual realm be any different?

Imagine that public meeting he mentions with debates being ‘won’ by one or two loud and intimidating individuals, each cleverly disguised as a dozen loud and intimidating individuals and you stand a good chance of coming to grips with the current problem.

The new Iain Dale microsite should be ready to roll tomorrow. Three static articles for newcomers need to be fine-tuned first and, yes, one of them deals with this matter specifically.

About Tim Ireland

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