By Erik Ringmar
There has been by no means any such factor as real freedom of speech. some time past, that allows you to converse freely you needed to have entry to a printing press, a newspaper, a radio or a television station. And in all places you needed to get earlier the editors. merely participants of the elite ever did – the articulate and well-behaved 'representatives' of normal humans. yet these usual humans not often, if ever, had an opportunity to talk publicly and freely. Until now. The age of running a blog has started. the web revolution has given us all an opportunity to be irreverent, blasphemous and ungrammatical in public. we will demonstrate secrets and techniques, blow whistles, spill beans or simply make stuff up. The previous elites don't love it. actually, they honestly, quite hate it. Blogs are normally close down, and bloggers are silenced, reprimanded and fired from their jobs. abruptly smooth liberal society finds a repressive face that few people knew existed. may still we behave ourselves? should still we fall silent? totally no longer! Let's name them on their hypocrisy. Let's call for that glossy liberal society lives through the rules it claims to include. Bloggers of the realm, unite! you don't have anything to lose yet your gags.
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Extra info for A Blogger's Manifesto: Free Speech and Censorship in the Age of the Internet
For a few days. Then there was an email from George Philip. As it turned out, an administrator from student recruitment – present at my speech – had denounced me to her boss, and her boss had been in touch with mine. An investigation was quickly put together and witnesses were called. What I had said, George Philip argued, ‘departed from the prepared message’; I had ‘embarrassed colleagues and discouraged prospective undergraduate students from applying’. He reprimanded me for the Open Day speech and for maintaining a blog.
The two go together like student dorms and disabled smoke alarms. Still, most universities have been slow in grasping the magnitude of the transformation. Just take a look at the home page of any randomly chosen university. It’s so obviously designed by consultants. You’ll find a generic corporate site with pictures of engagedlooking professors in front of blackboards and groups of students – of suitable ethnic mix – smiling at each other on campus lawns. That’s no way to communicate with the most web-savvy, and most cynical, segment of the human population.
There is also a person like Andrew Puddephatt, who founded Article 19, an international human rights organization that promotes freedom of expression. You might even find Sir Howard Davies himself banging on about the importance of free expression. At least, if you catch him on a good day. qxd 48 01/08/2007 12:46 PM Page 48 A Blogger’s Manifesto As one would expect, freedom of speech is well protected by LSE’s statutes. The School’s ‘Code of Practice on Free Speech’ explicitly incorporates Article 19 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights: this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his or her choice.