Loosing the blogs of war

Ruth Gledhill, writing in The Times, UK, comments on blogging when passions run high:

Because that’s what it feels like, a war. Labour thinks they had it bad with McBride? They should try reading our own Damian’s blog, or my Articles of Faith, or any number of the conservative blogs where authors and commenters sip vim-and-vitriol under the cover of Christian sanctimony and care not about crucifying friends because, let’s face it, in our world crucifixion doesn’t mean real death so why should it matter. It’s ‘blog eat blog’ out here.

Everyone has their ‘Brutus’, a ‘friend’ stabbing them in the back, whether on Holy Smoke, Articles of Faith, Twitter, even Facebook.


The Catholic weekly The Tablet ran a leader last week describing with chilling accuracy the ‘Wild West frontier’ on which we are operating. ‘Until now, the anarchic and unruly realm of the blogger has been seen as a somewhat surreal world remote from real life,’ wrote editor Catherine Pepinster, an astute journalist who was formerly on The Independent and can now be heard regularly on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.


Perhaps they have a point. Blogging is a compulsive medium that appeals to the addict in me. I wonder how long it will be before there is a wing of The Priory in Roehampton set aside for recovering bloggers? Or a Bloggers Anonymous meeting in London: ‘My name’s Ruth, and I’m a blogger.’ We’d all be sitting there, posting on Twitter: ‘Guess who’s just walked through the door…’

I’m not sure The Tablet’s suggestion of stripping the anonymity from blogs can ever be workable. Anonymity is an essential protection in the name of freedom of speech.

But perhaps the blogosphere needs a set of 12 guidelines rather like those used by AA: ‘Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.’

Read more here.

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