Friday, 19 September 2008

White Blogo spheres & Black blogo spheres - Why does this sound familiar?

As an ex South African who lived in South Africa under Apartheid where cultures were legally separated and as a result we had buses for whites, buses for blacks, beaches for whites and beaches for blacks etc my knee jerk response when seeing the existence of a “Black blogo sphere” and a “White blogo sphere” was to experience massive “de je vu” and disappointment that even cyberspace is being carved up into race based territories just like real countries have been. Are we witnessing racial conflict history repeat itself on line now. Is once again politics already shaping socialization patterns on the net as it has done for centuries on the ground? I can hear you saying “wake up to reality” but just like the cyber cops now needed to patrol “Second Life” our cyber worlds are not better built worlds of mutual understanding but just mirrors of the same old real world problems & conflicts or as Milton put it “A Paradise Lost”! I can hear you now asking me why be so naive to think that politics, and race relations would not be the driving forces of the internet, along with other vices of crime and greed. As a communications technology it is a pity that it has to be hijacked for soap box speeches or hate speech etc. If on the other hand it can be used to gain better understanding between cultures through what should be a neutral technology then I say - great! Certainly the Afroshpere blog with aims to bring “a variety of experiences, perspectives, ideas, beliefs and values in an effort to foster understanding, wisdom, knowledge and strength between 4 different countries on 3 continents” seems to be a positive way forward to use blogging technology. Better get off my soap box now!

No comments: