Saturday, May 27, 2006

PAPpy asked for it

Managing the Internet?How can one expect the internet media and those who inhabit it to support you when, in the first place, you have launched an assault on the very core and spirit that is the internet? When the PAP party banned podcasting of the General Elections 2006, it was like driving a knife into the hearts of the internet's adherents. Under these circumstances, even the most apathetic people will take up the cudgels for whatever and whoever opposes the PAP. This is the simple logic to the reportedly 85% negative vibes on the PAP on the internet. It is no great mystery and doesn't require PhD type analysis. It was not the Internet that failed the PAP, but the PAP abandoned the spirit of freedom that is the internet. Such high handed treatment, by threatening punishment through laws that it can pass at will through Parliament, has not, and will never sit well with netizens.

The lesson to learn is that you cannot beat the internet. You can't 'manage' (a word that the PAP still found fit to use after the GE) it either. There is only one option: join it, embrace it even. And that means no restrictions the next time around on the use of internet technologies such as podcasting, and no threat of police and the secret service monitoring conversations on the internet - in other words, no act that netizens will perceive as hostile and against the very basis of the internet. The PAP must realise that the internet is a great leveller, for the opposition as well as for them. So instead of restricting people, it should put its not inconsiderable resources to harvest the power of the internet to rally the troops and win over converts through its sincerity, integrity, honesty and fairplay. Then perhaps the internet will prove a friend rather than a foe.

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