SOMEcontrast was mentioned on AlWatan Daily newspaper on it’s 4th of january edition. We were mentioned along with our friends 4RingRoad, Buzberry and Frankom in an article that discusses blogs censorship.
I think getting real reactions from the people is something invaluable, why would anyone want to give that privilege up is beyond me. Just like some of the movies. Why not censor them a bit more? make it shorter, less meaningful, cut out another hug! but blogs?
Just like our friends at 4thringroad, we have nothing to be censored, unless maybe now they’re going after those blogs who always rap about good and bad restaurants? Oh no.. They’re going to censor bad reviews! *insert a sarcastic emoticon*
Picture taken from Buzberry
Here is the link to the article in AlWatan Daily or
KUWAIT: Blogs have become a way for people to express their ideas and beliefs and avoid the censorship which exists in newspapers, TVs and radios. Bloggers freely express their opinions on blogs without any fear from the government or any other authority, however, in recent events, the government and MPs have proposed to censor and control what is said over these formats of expression. Al Watan Daily met with some bloggers to view their opinion over the issue of censoring blogs.
Mohammed Al-Yousifi, a blogger, told Al Watan Daily, “The idea of controlling the blogs is ridiculous and doesn’t match the era we are living in now. It would have been a good idea if we were in the 70’s or 80’s, but with the rise of the Internet and various satellites it’s almost impossible for anyone to fully control the various contents of the Internet.” He added, “The person who came up with the idea of censoring the blogs seems unaware that we are living in the year 2010. I am against the censorship of blogs and the application of this idea is impossible, not only in Kuwait, but all over the world. Talks of censoring blogs started at the time when Abdullah Al-Muhailbi was Minister but nothing was actually achieved.” He said, “People must, first, define the word censorship, what do they mean by censoring the blogs. Is it that they want to control the bloggers or control the people commenting on the blogs or do they just want to censor the blog itself? What exactly do they want to control? What are the limits of this censorship? No one can control the bloggers or the people commenting on the blogs. The government’s control is limited to Kuwait only and the internet is not owned by Kuwait. People offending the government, or even the Amir could be from USA, not even in Kuwait. Some bloggers control the comments on their blogs, while others keep it totally free to the public to express their thoughts and ideas.”
An anonymous blogger speaking to Al Watan Daily said, “Here in Kuwait, we don’t have a system that counts the number of Kuwaiti blogs. The idea of blogs is a person expressing his own ideas and feelings. How will the government censor the Kuwaiti blogs and how will they know if this blog is Kuwaiti or not. There exists, at the moment, a lot of international blogs that write negatively about Kuwait, how will the Kuwaiti government censor these international blogs? The Internet is not owned by Kuwait, so Kuwait can’t ban or control it. A lot of the MP’s that want to censor the blogs are affected by these blogs because they don’t agree with what is written about them. So it’s obvious that the MP’s want the government to control the contents of these blogs.”
He added, “Blogs differ from culture to culture and from country to country. But most of the Kuwaiti bloggers respect Kuwaiti laws and they never offend it. It’s a great responsibility to the bloggers to be careful in what they write.”
Hassan, who commented to Al Watan Daily about Kuwaiti blogs, said, “We all find the truth about Kuwaiti politics from the blogs. I don’t really read the newspaper because they are with the government, but blogs are totally neutral and they tell the truth.”
Amal said, “The blogs were created to allow people to talk freely about any desired topic; it was actually started by expatriates who felt offended by some of the happenings in Kuwait and they wanted to express their feelings freely. In a blog we can talk as we like and no one controls us. I don’t believe that it’s possible for the government to censor the blogs, because it’s not like a blog is a website that they can just block, it’s a much wider issue that can’t be controlled.”
Al-Mutairi, one of the Kuwaiti bloggers, said, “Controlling the blogs is something unbelievable; how will the government in Kuwait control the Internet? Blogs became the only way to express our feelings without fear because basically no one knows who you are. The owners of most of the political blogs use nicknames to keep on the safe side.”
Al-Otaibi, another blogger, added, “I think as far as the bloggers are not talking about God or the Prophet, we are free to say whatever we want; blogs have become a new way for people to express themselves without any interference from anyone. I believe it’s hard for the government to control what’s written on the blogs but it isn’t hard for them to reach the bloggers themselves.”
Heba, who frequently visits and comments on various Kuwaiti blogs, said, “I enjoy posting comments on the blogs, and I really enjoy the topics being discussed on most of the blogs. A lot of my knowledge on Kuwaiti politics comes from the blogs and not from the newspapers or television.”