Dear Jordanian Blogger, Don’t Change—Not yet at least!

I know the whole talk about inclusion of websites in the press and publication law can indicate some very bad scenarios, chief among them is self-censorship, fear of writing critical high-quality articles, etc. My only message to the Jordanian blogosphere is: don’t change.

There are a lot of things we don’t know yet, and unless there’s direct evidence that says that we should worry, we shouldn’t. That is not to say that we shouldn’t care about the issue, but we shouldn’t let it change our attitude towards whatever it is that we do.

First, there no clear evidence that the ruling applies only to media sites/news agencies (i.e. alghad.jo, ammonnews.net, ammannet.net, etc.) or blogs as well; so bloggers don’t need to worry from now.

Second, there is no indication of how things will work. As it has been mentioned earlier, there is a government committee trying to figure out how to apply the law to the web; requirements about identity vs. anonymity, trade unions, having an editor-in-chief, etc. most likely won’t apply to blogs. Similarly, some of the restrictions on information in news articles (who are there to portray facts), might not apply to blogs (who are there to portray opinion).

So go about your business for now and write freely; if a government spokesperson drops a bombshell, its another story. When fighting the decision, speak as honestly and freely as you always have. If you have a critical post in store, share it and educate us all. Criticize the government, and hope they’ll be open minded and strive to improve. Act as if its some sort of utopia, and if a decision or announcement tells us definitely that its not, you’ll have time to go back and self-sensor your past posts or something.

  • kinzi

    Eyas, thanks for the encouragement. Insha'allah khayr. 🙂

  • gyonis

    Agree that we shouldn't change, but the thing is, there is (aside from the court ruling) a new cyber law being drafted.. and it's not that much of a difference from the press and publication law, that's why people SHOULD worry, and mobilize against such actions, here's what I suggested as a practical solution to this issue:
    http://www.gyonis.com/2010/01/19/last-famous-wo

  • Agreed completely, we SHOULD worry and we SHOULD take actions. I'm highly interested in that, as I have expressed elsewhere. The post is only there to plea to anyone to continue talking freely in case “self censorship” has already began for them.

  • gyonis

    Eyas, email me and let's see how can we work together.