Thursday, March 13, 2008

Of Blogs & Bullies

From the Online Affairs Desk

Here at we strive for excellence in all we do and despite a nonexistent budget and a limited talent pool we've managed to bring you relevant satire, hard hitting news, and wire stories about prostitutes and wild animal attacks on a somewhat recurring basis for two-and-a-half years. But it turns out that my best efforts have been in vain. A new Harris poll has found that most Americans never read political blogs. According to the study, 56% of the 2,300 adults surveyed never read blogs that discuss politics and less than a quarter read them several times a year. The study also revealed interesting statistics about public perception of blogs. Harris found that almost half of regular blog readers believe blog information to be just as accurate as information in the main stream media and that three in ten believe it to be more accurate. I'm happy that 3 in 10 of our readers (which incidentally happens to be three readers) believe us to be more accurate than the actual news, but c'mon, only half of you believe that a midget Hitler is running against a Clinton/McCain ticket or that moonlight is more cancerous than sunlight?
Harris believes that many Americans have turned back to television for their election news and that the novelty of blogs may have passed. I've been skeptical of the internet's staying power for sometime and this only lends credence to my pessimism. If the novelty of personal weblogs fades, how long it will it be before the entire idea of a world wide web of information becomes passé?
If it wasn't bad enough that no one gives two shits about what we're doing, now the government wants to step in and regulate it. In Kentucky, State Representative Tim Couch filed a bill to outlaw anonymous online posting. If passed, the law would require anyone who contributes to a website to register their full name, address, and email address. Allowing anonymous commenting would also be illegal and punishable by fines of up to $1,000 for a second offense. This goes against everything the internet stands for. The internet is built around misrepresenting yourself - you ladies who responded to my Craigslist personal ad know this first hand. Thankfully, this law won't apply to me or the site. First, I'm smart enough to not live in Kentucky; and second, we here at pride ourselves on our accountability and always post under our real names (although, Steve Williamson sounds like a fake name to me).
This slap in the face of freedom and the constitution was introduced in an effort to reduce online bullying, which the lawmaker says is a growing problem in Kentucky. When I think of the Bluegrass State I think of three things: horse racing, fried chicken and online abuse. How will I improve my self-esteem or get extra lunch money if I can't bully the other blogs? (I'm looking at you Dungeons and Dragons Weekly) So much for my dreams of becoming an online sensation, no one reads these blogs and soon I may not be able to bully them into it.


Aquamarine said...

As one of your three readers, I just wanted to say that I still get my fill of satire and politics from By the way, Steve Williamson? So obviously a fake name!
Amanda Hugginkiss

Anonymous said...

I agree. Online abuse is not only entertaining, but it weeds out those non-hackers who do not pack the gear and serve as competent citizens in the Bluegrass State.

William Stevenson