Do governments follow blogs?

The United Nations envoy Jan Pronk has been expelled from Sudan because of comments in his blog.

BBC NEWS | Africa | Blogs – the new diplomacy?

5 comments

  1. That’s fascinating Ashley thanks, I wasn’t familiar with that.

    Interesting too that 70% of the population of the country is under 30… and they are, this author says, ‘the efflorescence of dissent in Iran’.

    Two telling excerpts from the backstory:

    ‘In September 2001, a young Iranian journalist named Hossein Derakhshan, created one of the very first weblogs in his native language of Farsi. In response to a request from a reader, he created a simple how-to-blog guide in Farsi. With the modest aim of giving other Iranians a voice, he wound up unleashing a torrent of opinion, the likes of which had never before been seen in the Islamic world.
    There are now 64,000 blogs in Farsi…’

    ‘…there has now been a massive crackdown on bloggers; just a few months ago, one blogger was jailed for 14 years. It is indeed possible, for the moment, that the voices of the bloggers have been stilled…’

    I found a free online sample chapter from the book (We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs), at http://www.softskull.com/files/WeAreIran_SampleChapterLo.pdf and the backstory here: http://www.softskull.com/detailedbook.php?isbn=1-933368-05-5.

    I’ll add it to my Amazon.ca wishlist, in case anyone is feeling irrepressibly generous 🙂

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