I certainly enjoy reading and participating in blogs. But the case of Shirley Sherrod (former USDA official who was blackballed and forced into resigning by a misquote on this blog for her speech on her experiences in her work) was a clear example to me of how there is really no policing whatsoever over what gets said or how its portrayed. If the same quote had appeared in a newspaper where she was misquoted she would have been able to have some recourse – and you can be sure that somewhere along the line an editor would have questioned this sensationalist story. But for political reasons, a blogger took what she said out of context and got her to force to resign. The White House and the NAACP came down on her and all because of people using this online medium for their own selfish reasons and saying whatever they please, whether it’s the truth or not.
People are using social media tools for their own political or personal reasons without any gatekeeper. And I think the bigger problem comes in when children get involved. Kids have access to information and ways of portraying themselves online that we wouldn’t have even considered in our wildest dreams back when I was ten or eleven years old! These days children are committing suicide because of things that are said about them on blogs.
This is not something to be taken lightly. When we put something on a blog or post about a topic, we all have to take responsibility for the fact that it is not just you reading it, but that you’re putting it out there for the world to read and interpret. Have any of you had any problems with things said on blogs that have affected you?