For many countries Internet, World Wide Web, social networks, blogs are the strongholds of democracy. In recent events in middle east they have served as the last line of defense for democracy, allowing it to fight back dictatorships and totalitarian societies. But Sri Lankan blogosphere seems a little different. It appears that some people thing that it should be more totalitarian than the Sri Lankan Society itself. Of course Sri Lanka is not a totalitarian society. At least not yet. But the Sinhala blogosphere seems becoming one thanks to few fundamentalists. Of course they do not have the support of the majority, but I think it’s the lack of awareness of the majority that is creating them room.
We have seen a trend of taking down blogs that post about hot (not necessarily important) topics with an open mind. Not by the government but by other bloggers who call them self patriotic hackers. (I would not call some one a hacker just because they use some tool to crack a password or use an unethical/unprofessional friend in a telco company to snoop a password). In a way it is another manifestation of typical Sri Lankan mindset of not being able to tolerate different opinions and views. It is a crime against core value of blogging, which is freedom of speech. Only an ideologically bankrupt person can do it.
Having said above I have to say this too. It is the natural order of things happen on the web. If you dig up things that some people don’t want to talk about, you going to make them very upset, while making some happy. But when it comes to taking action, those who are upset will be quicker and more violent. They do not lose anything by what you write, but they gain a bit of third class pleasure by destroying what you write. They will not give a rats ass how much effort you put to create your content. It’s your job to protect your investment. There is no point of blaming the bad guys when years of work is gone.
When you write controversial topics. When you create yourself enemies. You are in a frontier of your own. In such a scenario it is critical to be a prepared for anything that might come your way. But the truth is, most of us are not. I don’t think that many of us even take backups of what we write. Of course in my case no one (except me) will not even notice if this site goes down due to some technical mishap or some hacker attack. But there are a lot of blogs that people will miss, if they go down. Have the writers of those blogs taken proper measure to minimize the risk of such things? Have they taken proper measures to ensure a smooth come back if that happen? If not they are simply writing at the mercy of their ideological opponents! Just think about it!
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