Saturday, June 23, 2007

Court of Public Opinion

It's interesting to observe how the Internet--and the communities that are born out of it--is evolving. Perhaps in the early years, the Internet was easily the new frontier, an anti-establishment haven, the true free speech country. It's still that nowadays but of course, it's shifting.

Lately, I think the Internet communities have replaced establishments and the large monopolizing entities we have in the real world. Do we have free speech in the Internet? Sure. But say anything contrary to the beliefs of an online community, and you'll get lynched by a mob. For example, here are some topics that you can try to discuss but people will leap at you in an instant, sometimes without reading the entirety of what you have to say:
  1. Anti-Fan Fic
  2. Anti-Gay
  3. Pro-Catholicism/Christianity
  4. Anti-Abortion
These are, of course, examples of real-world matters. I'm sure in the smaller spheres of fandom, there'll be taboo topics that will similarly get you flamed, spammed, or simply overwhelmed with replies.

What's even more interesting is that these communities who usually favor one specific paradigm haven't realized that they themselves have now become a monopolizing entity. But then again, it's not really so surprising. We're humans after all and an online community isn't so different from a non-online one. The mores and norms have changed but they're still there.

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