Looking for Regional Information?

Blogging and Censorship

By Charles Hopkins Published 01/17/2007 | Blogs


Blog censorship has become an issue even in the United States where many people have been fired from their jobs because of what they posted on their blogs. People in countries that do not have free speech have been thrown in jail or heavily fined for blogging about topics that their governments do not approve of, or for criticizing their governments.

The Internet, and the blogosphere in particular, exists for the purpose of allowing individuals to express themselves, in whatever manner they choose, as long as it is done in an ethical manner. This type of censorship, however, has certainly put a damper on this. For this reason, more and more people are starting to blog anonymously.

Even American companies, where free speech is not only allowed but regularly defended, have participated in censorship of blogs. For instance, Microsoft doesnt allow bloggers in China who use the Microsoft blogging network to use words such as democracy or demonstration and even the word freedom is banned. Bloggers in China must register their blogs with the Chinese government! Its amazing that an American company would allow a communistic government to tell them how to operate but thats exactly what Microsoft did.

Sometimes anonymous blogging doesnt work either. It has been rumored that China uses software called Night Crawler to crawl blogs that originate in China, and that they are shutting down those that are not properly registered with the government. Of course China isnt the only country that censors bloggers Iran, Iraqi, India, and many other countries also employ blog censorship methods.

Even blogger censors blogs. At the top of a blog you will see a button that you can push if you find a blog offensive. But blogger can get away with this since they are hosting those blogs. Anytime you are publishing a blog that is not hosted on a site or domain that you own, the owner of that site or domain has the right to censor you. This is another reason why setting up your blog on your own webhost with your own domain name is preferable.

Again, the only way to avoid censorship is to blog anonymously, and even that isnt possible in some countries. Another option may be to have a friend post blog entries for you. There are some who already do this, and naturally wish to remain anonymous. You simply have a friend in a country, such as the United States, set up a blog for you. You write your blog entries and email them or better yet phone them in or send them via postal mail, and the friend then does the blog entry for you. Of course, you must make sure that the friend can be fully trusted, and that your means of getting your blog entries to the friend are secure as well.

Perhaps someday we will all be able to blog without fear of any type of censorship or persecution but in the meantime, all we can do is the best that we can do, and find alternative ways to express ourselves.