Speech on blog

 I would like to  discuss John W.Maynor’s “Blogging for democracy: deliberation,autonomy, and reasonableness in the blogosphere” .  In his article, he mentioned the proposed Code of Conduct (CoC). There are six key areas which the CoC focuses on. After I read those I can’t stop wondering that how feasible they are. Personally, I think it’s a little bit harsh that “to not allow anonyous comments” (P.458)  If the anonyous comments are not allowed, would anyone still want to  leave a comment? I think most people would say no. I browsed some articles in the Hot Air, and found out that those people who post their comments didn’t leave their real name mostly.

One article I chose came from the Hot Air is Romney: Let’s face it, Obama’s going to be very tough to beat witten by Allahpundit. The author seemed not very agreed with the former governer of Massachuesse, Mitt Romney, said  through the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination that “Barack Obama  will be a tough foe in the 2012” and the reasons he provided. The other one I chose is John Kerry: I wish these voters would pay more attention also written by Allahpudit, from the Hot Air too. It’s about John Kerry’s critism on voters are not  paying enough attention to “the facts or the truth or what’s happening” ,so they are easily “influenced by a simple slogan”.

As Maynor mentioned in his article, “self-directing networking” connects to”what Alfino and Pierce(1997,2001) term the autonomy theory of information.” Users can find their own destination that is interesting and inspiring, and  to exchanges views and knowledge during the discussion on blog.  In the both articles that I chose from Hot Air, some users like JimP and kingsjester, they posted their comments to these two articles and communicated with other users. I think it’s a good way for all the blog users to not only gain more information, but also see different perspectives then to see whether they need to adjust those of their own.

I agree with Maynor that there are three problems with autonomy theory of information, characterized by him,”value, volume, and velocity”. However, I don’t think they would bother bloggers or blog users.  Like he argued ” any deliberative community is going to faced with similar questions.”  I believe that after years of experience, users have improved their abilities to catch right, useful ones from the sea of information. In addition, I think Maynor is right that “blogging can claim to be a form of deliberative democracy”, though it needs civility. And it would be a great form “if users are willing to open up their preferences to better consider others who may have alternate opinions or values.”


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wendy Brunner on September 30, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    After reading your post I almost wish I had read the Maynor article instead of Cammaerts, because his ideas aggravate me! First, disallowing anonymous comments is ridiculous. As we discussed in class, there is no way to enforce such a policy other than asking websites to conform to this code of conduct. But even if a site did, what difference is logging in going to make? Unless Maynor is proposing that every website force users to prove their identity–say, with a credit card–then even a “logged-in” poster is still anonymous. Anyone can create a free email address and use phony info. What does that accomplish? Second, and this is what bothers me most, is that it is the inherently anonymous nature of the Internet is what allows it to be such an effective tool for communication (gotta love McLuhan). As we discussed briefly in class, there is a a great deal of freedom that comes from the ability to hide behind a computer screen–many of us say things online that we could never say in person. And while that can be a negative, of course, it is also what makes the Internet so unique and valuable. Why would we want to interfere with that? So some people don’t have their feelings hurt by reading things that offend their sensibilities? Again I’ll return to my FIGHT SPEECH WITH MORE SPEECH argument. And now I’ll step down from my soapbox, sorry. =) This is what happens when you have a media law scholar in your class, hahaha!


  2. I chose Allahpundit’s article too!

    I agree with you about the CoC. The code seems to be very strict in terms of online deliberation. But I guess Maybor’s intention was to provide an idea rather than make unchangable regulations. And it could be a useful way to control the quality of online discussions if blog owners create a set of code of conduct for their users. But surely it will compromise enthusiasm of participation and the level of freedom speech.

    I also noticed that people quoting and replying to each other is a common practice of online discussion, and can stimulate debate, deep thinking, and exchanging of opinions. It could be a sign of delibrative democracy.


  3. I’m interested about your point that “also see different perspectives then to see whether they need to adjust those of their own”, and I believe this is one of the main idea of democratic. Left alone the “anonymous” characteristic on blog,the internet certainly provides a space for everyone to share their feelings and opinions. However, I believe the “anonymous” can provide a secure and private feelings for those who make statements on-line. Though I also question about the feasibility of the CoC, but just as Maynor said, “the CoC should be more a modular and contain a set of axioms that could be adopted cafeteria-style by site owners”, which the control is still hold on blog user themselves. Just like we discussed in class, it’s a moral issue.


  4. I also read Maynor. I came to similar conclusions that you did, in particular I agree with the issue of anonymous comments. Does Hot Air make you register to comment? With the Huffington Post you have the option of using other services – facebook, twitter – to sign in. I wonder if the comments would be more “civil” if to comment we had to use say our real names verified with a driver’s license number and social security!


  5. I agree with you that that “after years of experience, users have improved their abilities to catch right, useful ones from the sea of information.” I like to think that people in general are intelligent and can make up their own minds. But in real life (like some examples given in our class discussion), it seems a lot of people turn to one channel or one person and just pay attention to that one — even though it excludes a lot of other opinions and views. You addressed this in your final quote from Maynor.

    But then — what is the solution? How can people be encouraged to look outside their narrow channels of information?


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