Monday, October 25, 2004

Are Bloggers' Days Numbered?

Yesterday a friend expressed her concern that sooner or later, someone higher up would eventually get impatient with all the freewheeling uncensored "trash talk" on this blog and others, and put an end to our blogging by blocking access to the Blogger domain, applying the usual principle of الخير يخص والشر يعم . We could all move to other blogging services, but I guess they could catch up there too.

The conversation got me thinking... certainly that poorly written Kuwait Times article (which has since disappeared) didn't help much. But what do you all think?
  1. Are the "powers that be" reckless enough to ban blogging, and risk negative publicity?
  2. If - God forbid - it does happen, what alternatives are available?
  3. Am I making a big deal out of nothing?

46 comments:

  1. G'mornin zaydoun and all.....I was just thinking that less than 30 mins ago, when i tried to access my blog and it was blocked by FasTelco!! I tried again, no use, i tried other blogs, all blocked! Then I tried hotmail, that was blocked too *whew* thats when i realized FT was screwing up! But it did make me think about it.

    Wont be surprised if they do it. Tabtaba'i will come up with something like "It promotes prostitution, drugs, homosexuality, cannibalism, incest, beastiality...etc."

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  2. Actually I wasn't even thinking of Tabtabai, but some people waaay higher up ;-P

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  3. If Blogger get's blocked, it's really easy to get around that. You can find site's and programs that are easy to use and there are hundreds of ways to get behind a block.

    So no worries =)

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  4. Zaydoun...e7im...like who higher than Tabtaba'i? *cough* e7im (quietly switching voice recorder on while coughing) *cough*

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  5. Patrick, sure there are ways around it.. but it's the political act/attempt of banning Blogger that I worry about. It just means that they want to intimidate.

    Q. افهمها وهي طايرة الله يهداك

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  6. ahaa.....i understand it while its flying ;P

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  7. Well everything has to end one day.

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  8. The more popular you get Zaydoun, the more likely it is that they will block blogger. I suggest in the event that happens we set up a Yahoo Group! or a mailing list for all zaydoun.blogspot.com addicts who need a fix.

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  9. Thanks HWKW, but I'm not worried about just me. Everyone on Blogger.com will be affected if a ban is in place.

    Thanks also for your suggestion; it's exactly what my friend suggested yesterday.

    Maybe I should have a contingency plan (an online bomb shelter?)

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  10. yes yes, and a secret siren for bloggers only! you know the whistle that only dogs can hear? something like that! Think of something!

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  11. I been thinking of this problem too and made something but just never had time to go public with it yet.

    Kuwait Blogs - Announce ListBasiclly its just one big mailing list that people can join and if anything were to happen to the blogs we can quickly email everyone who will be interested in it.

    Also if they block blogger.com people can still keep track of posts with Safat.Kuwaitblogs.com until other stuff is figured out. Since Safat collects pretty much everyones posts. And if they block that I can move it to lots of other sites.

    I also been contimplating a blogger only mailing list that would allow discussion. But still trying to gauge if people would want it.

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  12. 1- Yes they are reckless.
    2- Once it happens, we'll figure out something.
    3- Well it is serious, but again, this is not the first time freedom of speech is clamped down in kuwait. You should be concerned, but not to the extent of having high blood pressure :)

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  13. I love how everyone is brainstorming together to figure this out. It's like, even though we don't know each other but we KNOW each other haha I know that doesn't make sense but oh well :P

    I love you all (yes even you yellow brick road)!!!!

    ^______^

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  14. 3. Making a big deal out of nothing.

    I dont care anyone cares anymore, not that the Gov has become more tolerant but that their levels of avarice have increased & they're too busy thinking how they can cash in to the surplus in oil revenue *whoohoooo!*

    As to the MPs, as long as it doesn't give them an errection its legal.

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  15. I think that this censorship towards blogging is coming sooner than we all think.. mainly because they are finding ways to divert the publics eye from the actual happenings in the country.. sort of like how Tabtabai' became obsessed with the issue of "Star Academy" or concerts in Kuwait in general.. just to cover up something hidden.. so if blogging does become blocked it will be because its a cover up for something big..

    The alternatives would be basically yahoo groups or some sort of mailing list in which we all write our posts and they get circled around I guess..

    *I refuse to let my freedom of speech to be quieted down because once that goes then everything goes after it..*

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  16. during the days of saddam, salam pax was able to blog. So, if saddam allowed blogging... how bad can things get to block blogger in kuwait?

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  17. Very good point, Rampurple.. Salam Pax managed to remain completely anonymous and secret right till the war was over. Yours truly never bothered to maintain anything resembling secrecy; some of you know my name, some don't.

    As for blocking, I have no idea if Saddam's thugs even knew how to block a domain. Why bother with techie stuff when you can just kill instead? And who was his ISP?

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  18. dear Z.
    if blogs were to be blocked mine would be the first to go.

    if they did block blogs, which im sure is going to happen if bashing the govt. gets out of hand, just use a proxy and you will be ok.

    ciao

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  19. Zaydoun i think u gave the goverment too much credit (e7na wain we ohma wain) did u c thier pictures in the newspaper playing football with the MP's hathoola ra7 ey3arfoun 3an elblogging ya rait ohma fihom ha elkether sophistication shan ma 9ar hatha 7alna 7adhom eyroshona eb '7ara6iem elmay....tathker elathnainat yemken ne9 elbloggers mo la7gein 3ala ha elayam ;-)

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  21. من قوانين الحكومة الكويتية لتأسيس شركات لتقديم خدمات الإنترنت هو وضع تقنية لحجب المواقع الجنسية من على الإنترنت و هذه التقنية باهضة الثمن ، فلجأ الإخوة المسلمون في الكويت إلى البالتوك وال ياهو قروبز فأصبحت الأفلام الجنسية تعرض على الهواء مباشرة على البالتوك و تتداول الصور الجنسية من على الياهو قروبز . وبما أن معظم المسلمون الكويتيون لديهم بريد الكتروني على الهوتميل فقد واجهتهم مشكلة في استيعاب الكم الهائل من الإيميلات الجنسية فلجأوا إلى بريد الإمارات الذي يستوعب 15 ميغا بايت وهنا وقد واجههم خازوق قوي جدا من بريد الإمارات وهو عبارة عن منع إستقبال البريد الإلكتروني من الياهو قروبز ما لم يتم إشراك اللجنة الرقابية الشرعية في بريد الإمارات في هذه القروبات حتى يتسني لها مراقبة هذه الإيميلات و من ثم السماح لمشتركي بريد الإمارات باستقبال البريد الإلكتروني الوارد من الياهو قروبز . إلى أن من الله تعالى على مسلمي الكويت بنعمة ال 100 ميغا بايت من لدن شركة ياهو الكريمة فتم حل هذه المشكلة و أصبح المسلم الكويتي يستقبل الصور الجنسية على مدار العام فيما عدا شهر رمضان المبارك


    لذلك أقول إن حجب الصفحات في الإنترنت مضيعة لأموال شركات الإنترنت فقط و سوف يأتي يوم لن يستطيعوا فيه حجب أي موقع

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  22. Z,
    I'm a recent (yet avid!) fan of this blog, having just discovered you by accident. I also happen to be a writer and editor for a local English-language newspaper (one that's yet to be mentioned/quoted/torn to shreds by you, I might add) and I must admit, I've got an itch to scratch. Following the links on your page, I'm amazed by the number of Kuwaitis actually dedicating their time and energy to the blogging phenom, and I'm blown away by [some of] the material. [Some] People are open and honest and it's as if an underground society of frustrated locals has finally been given the opportunity to speak what's on their mind.
    Having said that, I'm interested in doing a piece for the paper on this craze, and I'd love your help/feedback. I didn't want to post this as a comment, but I realize you don't have an email option, so I was forced to come here. If you're at all interested, I would be eternally grateful.
    Please respond by post, and I'll be sure to come back and check regularly. In the meantime, keep rockin'.

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  23. I think it's coming Zaydoun
    I had a threatening e-mail today from one of the Islamists, and will not talk much 'bout it until I decide what action I wana take.

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  24. إلى الأخت شي رايتز

    إسمحي لي أن أقول لك أنتم أيها الصحافيين سبب المشاكل في البلد . فأنتم تفتحون عيون نواب الظلام على الحريات المتاحة في دولة الكويت إلى أن يتم مصادرة هذه الحريات من قبل هؤلاء النواب أو لخلق مسلسل استجوابات من هؤلاء النواب كما أنتم لا تسمحون بنقد شركات الرقائق الزرقاء في الكويت خوفا من أن تتوقف هذه الشركات من نشر إعلاناتها في صحفكم

    فإن كنت تذكرين يا أختي العزيزة مشكلة التي شيرت التي لبستها المذيعة مشاعل الزنكوي ومن فتح عيون نواب مجلس الأمة لكي يسمسروا على هذا التي شيرت. انه صحفي بائس في جريدة السياسة وفي النهاية القرار الأول والأخير يرجع للسيد زيدون

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  25. سيد زيدون لماذا لا تسمح لأعضاء جروبك الكريم بتنقيح مشاركاتهم ؟

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  26. Rabab.. HOLY SHIT!! That's why I don't have my email on my profile. Meanwhile, your blog is pretty gentle. What could have provoked them?

    Shewrites... I'd be happy to chat with you but since I won't announce my email here, you tell me how to reach you.

    Purg72, is this the storm/cloud you were referring to yesterday?

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  27. أبو حفص، ماذا تقصد بتنقيح المشاركة؟

    بعدين أعتقد أن الأخت الصحفية "عنكريزية" وأكيد ما فهمت شيء من كلامك

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  28. يعني أمسح الملاحظات المتكررة لسوء السيستم أو أعيد صياغة ملاحظاتي إذا كان هنالك خطأ مطبعي




    الصحفية عندها مليون مترجم يقدر يترجم لها

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  29. الملاحظات المكررة أنا أشيلها لك، بس تصليح الملاحظات مو بإيدي لأن السيستم إلى الآن لا يسمح بذلك

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  30. السيد زيدون أرجو في المرة القادمة عندما تذكر كلمة الروث باللغة الإنجليزية أن تربطها ببلوجي كما في جملة الروث المقدس

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  31. حاضر طال عمرك

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  32. First off, 'al-ikht al-9a7afiya' is indeed a Kuwaiti, and I'm happy to say I understood everything that was directed at me in the previous comments without the aid of my trusty translators. :)
    Please forgive me for responding to you in English, Abu, but I'm afraid I've yet to figure how to switch to Arabic on this computer, besides which, I type faster in English.
    I appreciate and respect your opinion, and even partially agree that a certain number of journalists in this country are the very reason you'd wish to keep something like this hush-hush. Unfortunately, it's those few that've given people like me a bad name. On the contrary, I'm absolutely thrilled that we have a generation of people who want to see change; who are doing as much as they can to assure there IS change. And the publication(s) which I write for encourage this behavior. I would never assume to take on such a project if I didn't feel 110% positive that I could introduce it in a way that it deserves, and with these blogs - which I see so much potential in - I know I could do a good job and get it across in such a way that it doesn't offend, but rather, inspires.
    Z, I appreciate your quick response. If you'd like to contact me away from this board, you can do so at SheWritesQ8@hotmail.com
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    N.

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  33. Hello there. I've been following your blog with interest for quite a while now, even if it has only been a day since I've gotten my own. I just wanted to mention that Live Journal (where I'm currently residing) had been blocked a few times before. I wouldn't be surprised if Blogger was to follow, much as I wish it would not. Just keep in mind that there are many alternatives. As long as you have a message, don't let anyone keep you down.

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  34. LOOOL!! Bo 7af9 and Zaydoun 3ala el conversation elly bainkom...
    And "Seguro=Sure" I'll go with:
    3- Am I making a big deal out of nothing?
    Yes, You are Dear Z... Skip the whole thing and keep it up... OO by the way khalas I'll start callin' you "Guapo"<< i never doubted that you won't be getting the word ;)...
    OO sorry to hear that Rabab...:/ allah y3eenech..

    tenga un dia bueno todo

    Simpre|Cariٌno
    (F)

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  35. Zaydoun,

    I just posted something, conservatives may consider "provocative", on my blog. I say: F*** em' if they can't take a joke! Actually, it's about art, really! ;-)

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  36. I'll talk to the powers that be first thing tomorrow and make sure they stay away from blogs.

    Salam Pax mokana khali :(

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  37. الأخت شي رايتز

    من قال لك أن الصحفيين الذين بسببهم تمت مصادرة الحريات واثارة المشاكل هم قلة ؟

    بالعكس هم الأكثرية و انت إن كنت تذكرين صورة حفلة الستار أكاديمي للأخوة أفراد الجالية الفليبينية الشقيقة الذين وضعت صورتهم جريدة السياسة على صفحتها الأولى . وهذا غير الحفلات الصغيرة التي يحضرها وزير الإعلام و غيرها من الحفلات التي بسببكم تمت مصادرتها . مشكلتكم أيها الصحفيون لا تفرقون بين الأحداث العامة و الأحداث الخاصة و أنتم لستم أصحاب رسالة تتبعونها من أجل رقي المجتمع . أنتم أصحاب إثارة و شحذ إعلانات . انتم لا يهمكم إن كان الخبر الذي حصلتم عليه فيه ضرر للمجتمع المدني. أنا لا يهمني كونك متفائلة بنسبة 110% بأن تقريرك الصحفي لن يضرنا . أنا الذي يهمني حريتي التي كانت الصحافة اللاعب الكبير في مصادرتها . لا أعلم كيف تدافعون أنتم أيها الصحفيون عن الحريات و كلما تم اصطياد شاحنة تهرب الخمور قمتم و بكل فخر واعتزاز بنشر صور الويسكي المهرب وكميتها و صورة مهربها و أسماء رجالات و شيميلات وزارة الداخلية الذين قاموا بضبطها حتى يحصلوا على ترقية بعد نشر اسمائهم في صحفكم . ألا تعلمون أن الخمور متاحة لجميع دول العالم فيما عدا بلدكم ؟ هل تعتقدون أنكم قمتم بعمل جليل بنشر صور الويسكي المضبوطة حتى تتشمتوا فينا على السجن الذي نحن فيه ؟ الا تعلمون أنه يوجد خلل في مصادرة حريات الأقليات وانتم أحد أسبابها ؟ ثم ما هذا المستوى المنحط الذي وصلت فيه إعلانات صحفكم إلى مستوى الإعلان الطائفي و القبلي؟ من يسبب النعرات الطائفية غير الصحافة ؟ من هو سبب خراب البلد غير الصحافة

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  40. Shurouq, Salam Pax is now writing for The Guardian and also has a book out. Read his diary about his recent trip to Washington DC. It's a riot!

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  41. أنا لست قلقة على اغلمواقع بالذات.........فإن أغلقوا واحدا يمكنكم أن تفتحوا عشرة......و إن منعوكم محليا.......سفعلونها دوليا. قلقي عليكم كأفراد. إن طالوكم....فما التهمة التي من الممكن ان يوجهونها لكم؟؟؟؟

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  42. Definetely a 'Kuwait unplugged' fan so please count me in any contingency plans. Also Zaydoun I left my email in your comments section. Still haven't heard from you ..شو صار

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  43. Shdaaaa3waaaaaa ?

    Definitely, Number 3.

    I feel like Flash Mobbing.
    Anyone Care to Join ?

    PSS :)

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  44. Thanks for the link, Zaydoun

    Pink, I'm in I'm in.. and I suggest we do it right across the street from Sabah al Ahmed's new house.

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  45. Zaydoun, great job on the blog by the way...very interesting stuff. Is it me or have visits to ur site jumped since the KT article??
    That may be a good and bad thing considering that people are worried that blogging will be blocked...but maybe giving the powers that be ideas about blocking is not a good thing. If they didn't consider blocking before they are thinking about it now.
    The media should focus on issues that need fixing. By all means get your tips and your targets from issues brought up in all these people's blogs...but don't make blogs your story...it's been done and it doesn't really need that kind of attention...let it grow at it's own pace. Especially if you are going to be drawing the wrong kind of attention to the blogs.

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  46. Hmm.. you may be right about the jump in visitors since the article came out.

    Not so sure that's a good thing

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Keep it clean, people!