They apparently carried out a survey of 100 people, though how they selected their sample we are not told. Were the respondents bloggers? Do they regularly read blogs? (If you're going to fling around statistics and influence public opinion, you needs to be accountable for the way you collate statistics!)
Anyway, apparently (shock horror):
66 per cent of the 100 respondents interviewed questioning the credibility of blogs as a source of information ... 57 per cent of the respondents wanted bloggers to be made accountable by imposing certain regulations to deter irresponsible bloggers from posting sensitive, inaccurate and false information.It goes on:
Those who called for bloggers to be monitored said blogs should only be used to share useful information, and not be an avenue to post exaggerated articles, or a place to blow your own trumpet.What I think the survey does illustrate is the general ignorance on the part of those interviewed as to what blogs are and how they work. Just useful information? How dull! Some of my favourite blogs are the personal ones where there is a real sense of the voice of the writer. Like you, I read all sorts of blogs for all sorts of reasons - but most of all to be entertained by good writing, to catch up with my friends, to share opinions and enjoy a good discussion on matters close to my heart. (Things bookish and writerly most of all.)
Not a place to blow your own trumpet? Not a place to post exaggerated articles? Why the hell not? A blog is an entirely personal space. And just as we take with a pinch of salt the nonsense our friends come up with in the coffee shop, or the bullshit talked by that fella leaning on the bar in the pub, so we need to assess for ourselves the validity of what we read - be it in the local press or online.
Malaysians I think in one sense are already pretty good readers: they've had to learn to read between, behind, through the lines of articles in the local newspapers to find out what is really happening in the country: they just need to apply the same skills to reading blogs!
Sure, there are of course the loony intolerant extremist voices out there. Reading some has had me shaking with anger. But I'd rather know what these people are thinking and how they argue, than not know. And I would defend their right to express their opinions.
Anyway, you can have your say on the topic at firstname.lastname@example.org
I just hope the Malay Mail throws its weight behind bloggers, rather than just sensationalising the issue. After all, it's been happy to report what bloggers are saying on various issues (thanks Amir!) as a way of accessing the vox populi hasn't it?