Friday, January 14, 2005

Goddamn Young People

Via Atrios we learn there appears to be some sort of controversy a brewin' about blogs and disclosure and relation to political campaigns. It appears that right wing blogs are acting as if there's some sort of corelation between Armstorng Williams taking taxpayer money and hyping NCLB in his column(I won't provide links, ya'll oughtta know about it by now) and Kos having worked on the Dean campaign(Atrio provides link to Kos who provides link to Instapundit). ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?

Seems to me there are several issues being conflated here, and loud mouth jerks on both sides don't want to clear it up(although Kos comes closest). So we'll just jump in.

  1. Kos got private funds and Williams got public funds. Kos disclosed the fact that he was getting private funds, Williams didn't disclose that he was getting public funds. Kos is the apple, Williams is the orange. There is nothing else to say about that.

  2. Somehow this has sparked some sort of conversation about ethics, standards and whatnot on blogs, because somehow people are totally convinced that blogging = journalism.

    As far as the ethical uses of communications technology goes, this problem was solved nearly 20 years ago when users came to general semi-agreement on posting etiquette on the USENET. As another example of the same type of thing, there's Wikis and their guiding principles.

    For all the pretentious jerks out there like Instapundit and Sullivan who insist on acting like blogs are somehow revolutionary(no, they are Wikis with some of the features disabled), it goes like this: People get sick of the signal to noise ratio and figure out how to filter it. Then the community involved eventually settles on a few general guidelines on how best to prevent a huge amount of noise. If the Blogs Are The Revolution crowd knew anything about the evolution of the technology they champion, they'd know this already.

    By the way, I'm not a libertarian, but I don't want my blogging - and therefore my forum for being a loud mouth jerk - regulated(unless the people providing the free service I happen to abuse decide they'd prefer not to have me use their hardware and bandwidth for free). I also don't want people who have no knowledge of the history or the technology involved deciding what's ethical for me to post or not post. But please, feel free to come up with yet more wonderful ways to both inflate the importance of the internet and then destroy the things it's good for.

  3. Here's an idea for everyone who's all concerned with the ramifications of what get's posted on blogs: Start your own consortium and make people register for it. Then you can filter the membership based on whatever criteria you have. For instance, my consortium would be the "Anyone but Instapundit And Sullivan" consortium, and everyone else in the whole blogosphere could join and get a cool logo on their site, and everyone would know that if that logo was on a site, Instapundit and Sullivan weren't allowed to post there. Oh wait, people already do stuff like that. The point of this silly paragraph is to point out another problem already solved.

It always amazes me how people spend so much time on thinking about problems that don't exist when there are plenty of real problems that do. Now, all of you get back to the real partisan snarking so I can enjoy my blog-reading.

Update: The non-evil Roger Ailes has a a far better(as usual) post on this same topic.

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