Bloggers in many parts of the world have got into a lot of trouble for voicing controversial opinions on their own sites, but as long as the blogosphere continues to grow, it doesn’t look like they’ll ever be silenced.
Competitions such as the Blooker Prize just go to show how much weight the blogosphere really carries, and demonstrates how blogs have given a global voice to those who might not otherwise be able to speak freely. Blogs such as Riverbend and Salam Pax illustrate how vital blogs have become in providing a platform for free speech.
Anonymity is essential if blogs are to work safely, but how can any safety be guaranteed in a repressive regime? There’s still great risk involved in putting yourself out there. Blooker Prize judge Paul Jones told us that he wishes there was a way to embed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in every piece of software and that every country lived by those principles. Wishful thinking? Maybe. But it’s clear more has to be done to stop bloggers in certain countries from being silenced and abused for standing up for their beliefs.