Via C|Net: Blog Censorship Gains Support
Most Americans believe bloggers should not be allowed to publish sensitive personal information about individuals, according to a new survey.
Wait for it…
Web hosting company Hostway this week released the results of its poll of 2,500 Americans on blogging. Eighty percent of respondents did not believe that bloggers should be allowed to publish home addresses and other personal information about private citizens. However, more than one-third of respondents had never heard of blogs before participating in the survey, and only around 30 percent of participants had actually visited a blog themselves.
Exactly. And since when is 2,500 individuals who just happen to come upon the ‘Hostway’ website a picture perfect reflection of America? Talk about a bogus sample.
A further 72 percent favored censorship of personal information about celebrities, and 68 percent, information about elected or appointed government officials such as judges or mayors.
Right – peg all bloggers as teenagers with braces at home plunkin away at the computer, creating fake photoshop pictures of Britney in compromising positions and taking advantage of celebrities who are dumb enough to shoot provocative pictures of themselves with a cell phone camera, leave the pictures on the camera, and then lose said camera. Hello!
And about elected or appointed government officials like judges or mayors — hey, if they’re good honest people, what do they have to worry about?
While Americans were concerned about free speech, the survey revealed more moderate attitudes when it compared bloggers to journalists.
Now you’re talking.
Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said bloggers should have the same rights as traditional journalists, while 27 percent did not express an opinion. Free speech rights are protected under the first amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights, which says Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press.
OK, so the writer of this article knows about the first amendment, great. But, then she goes and shines a big ‘ol spotlight on this…
Despite the fact most respondents classed bloggers in the same category as journalists when it came to free speech, the survey revealed bloggers are not taken as seriously as traditional media. For example, 39 percent said they found blogs less credible than newspaper articles, although an additional 32 percent said they either did not know or had no opinion.
If bloggers did a better job at designing their blog sites I wonder if this percentage would go down? Obviously, the 39% polled here are types who like bright shiny things.
The survey also tapped into patterns of blog usage, revealing most people used blogs to obtain information about politics or current events. This news may not come as a surprise to U.S. political bloggers, who recently mobilized against a move by the country’s Federal Election Commission that would have imposed harsh rules on the blogging community.
Yep, that was us.
The FEC is in the process of extending campaign finance rules to the Internet–a process that involves, among other things, deciding if bloggers qualify as journalists.
About the poll – get a better sample of people – ask connected bloggers and blog readers who know a thing or two about what’s going on in the blogosphere. Heck, do two polls. One with the people in the know and the other with the people who don’t know. Both camps could provide great information.
There will be plenty of these polls being taken in the next couple of years. For now, I won’t take this one poll very seriously. It’s too early to stick the fork in the blogosphere. It (we) ain’t done yet!
Others who are talking about this poll: