Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bloggers united against decision to block websites in Bahrain

This is a couple of months old, but I came across it and thought it still was appropriate to post. Bahrain (which according to Wikipedia is an Arabic island microstate in the Persian Gulf ruled by the Al Khalifa regime) apparently blocked Internet access to its citizens.

Of course Bahrain bloggers reacted. I read many comments over at the Global Voices website but I think the best one is this one below that succinctly summarizes censorship of media in his country. He metaphorically compares his brother who was a “mere idea” a little more than twenty years ago to the phenomenal growth in distribution of information by the world wide web nowadays:

Let me try to paint you a picture:

It is the 1980’s. No internet and no Satellite TV channels and nothing. The only communications we have with the outside world are videotapes, cassettes, books and magazines. In these simpler times, banning something would actually work. If the government says for a reason or another that a film for example is unacceptable and not wanted, the majority of the population, if not all, will not get to see it. Tapes will be easily found and confiscated. And then what? Banning media at that age was quite effective. But that was a long, long, LONG time ago. Just look at my brother, he was a mere idea in ’86 and was born in ’87. Today he is a 186 cm tall man, with a goatee, driving license and a college degree. Media has grown that much too.

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