Weblogistan

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Bro. Curtis, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    The explosive growth of youthful, irreverent online diaries has alarmed Iran's hardline Government



    The music of Eric Clapton was banned in Iran this week. Broadcasters were ordered to cease playing “decadent” western songs and stick to “fine Iranian music”. Not content with denying the Holocaust, Israel’s right to exist, and advertising hoardings featuring David Beckham, Iran’s hardline President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has now denied his people the chance to listen to Layla — cruel and unusual punishment indeed.
    But if Iran, under the repressive rule of the ultraconservatives, is silencing the sound of Western pop, in another area of its culture, a wild cacophony of voices has erupted. The blogosphere is exploding. In Iran there are now more than 100,000 active blogs or weblogs, individual online diaries covering every conceivable subject, from pets to politics. Farsi is the 28th most spoken language in the world, but it now ties with French as the second most used language in the blogosphere. This is the place Iranians call “Weblogistan”: a land of noisy and irreverent free speech.

    The collision between these two sides of Iran — hardline versus online — represents the latest, and most important, battle over freedom of speech. The outcome will dictate not only the shape of Iran, but also the future of the internet as a political tool, heralding a new species of protest that is entirely irrepressible.

    The growth in Iranian blogging is part of a worldwide surge. In 1999, there were some 50 bloggers on the web; in January there were about 5.4 million; today, according to the blog search engine Technorati, there are more than 23 million.....

    .....The Iranian State has done its utmost to smother the nascent Iranian blogosphere. In 2003 the Government began to take direct action against bloggers — more than 20 have been arrested, on charges ranging from “morality violations” to insulting leaders of the Islamic Republic. One blogger was sentenced to 14 years in prison for “spying and aiding foreign counter-revolutionaries”; in October, Omid Sheikhan was sentenced to a year’s jail and 124 lashes for a weblog featuring satirical political cartoons.

    The regime has also reportedly brought in powerful software programs to filter the net and block access to provocative blogs. But the Government remains profoundly alarmed by a tool it cannot control. Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi, the head of the Iranian judiciary, recently described the internet as a “Trojan Horse carrying enemy soldiers in its belly”. Many of Iran’s religious leaders recall how an earlier revolution was fuelled by new technology, when cassette tapes and videotapes of sermons by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini were smuggled into the country, undermining the Shah and hastening his downfall.....
     
  2. KenH

    KenH
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    Tyrants beware! You can't silence everyone!
     
  3. The Galatian

    The Galatian
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    Marshall McCluhan was right. East Germany fell because of the "enemy on the roof" (television antennas).

    The Shah fell because of cassette tapes.

    And now... :D
     
  4. Daisy

    Daisy
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    If I remember correctly, the showdown at Tiannemen Square became known world-wide via fax machines.
     
  5. MatthewHenry

    MatthewHenry
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    Ban Eric Claption? :eek: Man, if they think he was political, what would they think of Hendrix? [​IMG]

    It is to laugh! [​IMG]
     

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