I just noted with some alarm that the top eight out of nine "most recommended" comments in this BBC Have Your Say discussion about the 2007 Government elections are all recommending the BNP or, in one case, the SNP.
Now, anyone with half an ounce of sense can see that this is likely to be a coordinated attempt by the aforementioned extremist parties - in the BNP's case, one which isn't exactly known for having an open and friendly attitude towards diverse religious and cultural groups - to gain support of the weaker voters as we approach the elections in the UK, and campaigning tactics, which might be considered "cheeky" in a students' Union election, emerge which are totally unacceptable.
Already, people are voicing their concerns over this obvious attempt to subvert what should be at least a reasonably sensible discussion:
I hope the BBC step in in time to stop these "have your say"s from being hijacked to further the ends of the minorities, but I can't help wondering what the wider implications are for website services such as these, which are very much an embodiment of the Web 2.0 principles that are widely hailed as the way forward for the internet.
Interestingly, Bryan Appleyard wrote in the Sunday Times last week that '... Web 2.0 may be destroying civilisation. That, at least,
is the view of Andrew Keen, a Silicon Valley-based British entrepreneur and
author ... “It’s the cult of the child,” he says.
“The more you know, the less you know. It’s all about digital narcissism,
shameless self-promotion. I find it offensive.”' Bryan Appleyard's article is very thought-provoking, and well worth a read.
Winston Churchill may have said something along the lines of, "... democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried", but I'm not ashamed to say that I won't be voting. This isn't the place for me to wax philosophical about my apolitical beliefs, but I will happily admit that I see little good in any of the major parties, and would much rather be spending my time doing something more worthwhile. Like learning to knit, perhaps...
Sleep well, and don't have nightmares /al
Oh, p.p.s. all views expressed here are entirely my own, except where I've borrowed them from someone else because I'm incapable of independent thought. Because of this, please ignore everything I say. Ever...