censorship in the blogosphere

Censorship in the blogosphere may trigger instant associations to China, Syria etc and policing the internet. But censorship may not only occur on the national or the macro level but also on the micro level. The extent of control exercised when readers comment on postings may say more about the individual/s running the blog than any statements made by them in their profile or postings.
Under the umbrella of an individual’s anxieties, i.e. the need to feel in control in the virtual world where many perceive themselves not in command but rather controlled by the invisible audiences – and other unknown forces – , the only way to restore order and a sense of power is to censor comments to a degree that may disencourage readers to comment at all. This resulting lack of feedback and interaction in a rapidly growing universe of blogs, online social networks, and microblogging tools such as twitter may contribute to a sense that ‘those out there’ are indeed powerful invisible audiences who consume but remain emotionally unavailable. A desired outcome of the regulatory mechanisms at the micro level in the blogosphere?


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About Britta Bohlinger, CFE

Founder and Director of RisikoKlár in Iceland. Native German, global perspective - previously in London and Berlin.

2 responses to “censorship in the blogosphere”

  1. plural says :

    The tail end of this post invites visions back to “the Silent Majority” that former US President Nixon appealed to back in ’69 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_majority).

    I myself wonder about commenting in the blogosphere, and particularly the reasons that many ingenious posts don’t receive a lot of comments. Perhaps the wide adoption of blogs and other social media, and the general ease at which a commenting system is installed have simple caused a diffusion of the comments into so many different channels that aggregation is a lost cause. Maybe it is that the online messages are being discussed in the offline space in more regularity – a hidden but engaged audience.

    It is my suspicion that there are many more consumers than creators of content (and that includes posts). This begs the question to the content creators – is it better to have a wider audience that is less participatory?

  2. britta bohlinger says :

    Many thanks, very interesting points you make. Perhaps the wider non-participatory audience is useful in so far as it allows bloggers/producers to imagine them and learn to perceive aspects of production in a new light. Passively engaged they might be and only visible in the number of viewers – nevertheless, I do value them as they have helped me developing my writing skills. Thanks again – any chance to get an invite to your blog?

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