Saturday, May 26, 2007


Recently, a blogger friend of mine got into trouble with his employers. On his blog, so I am told, he let fly on his unpleasant experiences with his colleagues. From what I read of his writings that were circulated to me, he certainly had very uncomplimentary things to say, and he said it in his blog. Unfortunately for everyone, his blog was opened to the public. So when those whom he directed his tirade at learnt about them, they were furious, to say the least. There was even the threat to sack him. I don't know how he behaved himself at work. I suspected that he wasn't all that vicious a person. The whole problem, as I see it, is that he was imprudent in leaving offensive comments in the open, not that he made them at all. Let's be brutally honest - everyone of us at some time or another, has something unpleasant to say or write about another. We either vent our frustration at a willing ear, out of earshot of the person we are venting about, or we do it in writing, behind a pseudonym. Doing otherwise will probably invite a defamation suite or something worst.

This is not the first time. A while ago, another friend of mine used his blog to vent his frustration at an elder, writing things that he would not normally say to the person's face. Yet what he wrote was publicly accessible. Again, his blog was read by the person to whom he directed his venom, and there was some rebuking of his action by people close to the person being maligned. Sometimes the hurt person may be too shocked to say anything.

Blogging can be such as poisonous activity. The blogosphere has become a favourite channel for character assassination. Yes, the commenting feature allows for those maligned to rebut, but sometimes, some people remain unaware that something 'bad' is being written about them. Take me as an example. Up till the day that I did a google search on my own name. I did not know that there were some people writing about me - some remarks of which were mildly offensive to me. Could I have rebutted? Certainly. Did I want to rebut? I am not certain. Sometimes I do not want to dignify such blogs by replying. I believe that trash will ultimately go the way of all trash - down the drain into the vast ocean where they are broken down forever.

So I thought the angst that was shown in the light of the nasty comments on the blogosphere by my first friend was totally out of proportion to the offence. Certainly, my friend did wrong - by not writing under a pseudonym - but the opinions and emotions he displayed were certainly not unique to mankind.

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