My friend Morgan Brown has brought to my attention that Blogger has instituted a new feature-- a ‘flag’ with which any blogger can indicate disapproval of a particular blog. And Blogger says that if enough disapproval is registered, the offender may be removed from Blogger listings. They defend this new policy on the ground that it would be entirely democratic, based on “The Wisdom of Crowds.”
This is the type of democracy now being practiced by the Bush Republicans with their fundamentalist majority status in the Congress-- a “We’re in power and so we can make law as we like” approach. The men who wrote our Constitution set up our elections so that the majority opinion would be the guide for the country’s policy, but always with the protection of the individual’s right to be different. Never forget the first ten amendments.
Blogging itself is perhaps the ultimate in individual expression. A formal website requires much more expertise than most of us possess to set up and maintain. But anyone who can use a keyboard can set up and publish a blog, and lots of us are doing so. And if I disapprove of something a fellow blogger has said, in most instances I can post a comment. And if I really don’t like what is on this blog, I can remove it from my ’favorites’ list and never look at it again. I do not need the help of this new Blogger feature. Indeed I find it both offensive and potentially dangerous to the wonderful new liberty blogging has given us.