Thursday, November 29, 2007

Access denied

Global Voices Advocacy: Access Denied Map
The first time I skimmed the post introducing this resource (see and click above), I gathered it was mainly a map of areas where Facebook and other sites that encourage kids to commodify themselves were not available. While I do take my first amendment rights seriously, I have little use for 'social networking'. Adults should not require formal mechanisms to facilitate social relationships, which are by their very nature arise out of one's existing relationships or by happenstance; in this I acknowledge a kernel of romanticism, but friendship is gossamer and specific, and doesn't answer to an ad.

Yesterday, however, I tried to go to the Daily Star, which I do most days. Somehow my computer has captured some regional US paper that is also called Daily Star and it fills in this address when I try to type it in the bar at the top of the page. So I googled daily star, and the first result is the correct one, but Google prohibits access to the site! I find this incredible and of course I do realize that social networking sites play a different role in places where there is no first amendment, and where rights of assembly, free speech and a free press either don't exist or are otherwise more fragile than they are in the US today, at least for the time being. See Naomi Wolf, The End of America (or, as the Guardian puts it:) 'Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps'.

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