Sunday, October 09, 2005

UNPspeak

Is the UNP 'blog' a private space and are they free to moderate (edit and delete) comments as they please? Indi, who runs the UNP 'blog' seems to think so. Several people who left comments to the earlier post on censorship at unpsrilanka.org also thought that they can keep or delete what they want.

But let's see why I think they're all missing the point...


Is it a blog?

First of all whether the UNP 'blog' is a blog is a big question. A post on the site calls it the 'Official website for Ranil for President Campaign'.

The same post goes on to say
[the] facility to interact with anyone visiting the site is known as a web log, or blog.
The person who wrote this has no idea of what a blog is, or what blogging is all about. He or she also has a serious problem with their command of the English language.

Wikipedia has this to say about a blog.
Many weblogs enable visitors to leave public comments, which can lead to a community of readers centered around the blog; others are non-interactive.
We also know there are many sites where people can leave comments which are not blogs. So the ability to interact with anyone visiting the site does not make unpsrilanka.org a blog.

The homepage does not call it a blog. It is the party's official website for the Ranil for President campaign. Does the UNP have another another 'offical website' for the party? No it does not. Indi, who designed it might think of it as a blog, but I don't see why the rest of the world should do so. If you want it to be considered a blog then say so somewhere on the site. If not, don't act like a official website and then demand all the freedom of a blog.

So, as the UNP's primary presence online, unpsrilanka.org is the de facto official website of the UNP. And as the primary website of one of the people who seek to be the president of Sri Lanka, I would assume it to indicative of his attitude towards all kinds of issues.


Disclaimer

unpsrilanka.org does not have a disclaimer anywhere saying it is going to only keep comments favaourable to the UNP and Ranil Wickramasinghe. Instead it says
For the first time in election campaigns in Sri Lanka, www.unpsrilanka.org will provide an opportunity for the public to make comments, offer suggestions or ask questions in keeping with Ranil Wickremesinghe’s strong belief of inclusion.
The post about abusive language which I quoted in the previous post on Nittewa also says
As you know the UNP is the first and still the only party to have an interactive website to invite peoples views on current issues.

Personal Space

If it were the Ranil's Official website then it would be a personal website, and he would have been able to delete whatever comments he wanted to.

But it's the UNP's blog. Individual bloggers have the right to moderate their comments, and that shows us what kinds of people they are. Even group blogs sometimes do this. What they leave on, and what they delete are indicative of their bias and their agenda. Indi for one, has no problem deleting comments which show his weaknesses (as he done to several of my comments), and here at Nittewa we delete nothing (with that one single exception where the reasons were made very clear and comments belonging to everyone, including me, were deleted).

unpsrilanka.org is the website of the UNP. The webmasters cannot make decisions about what the UNP wants to keep or delete on their site, unless they have been given that right by the UNP's leadership/governing body. Does the UNP allow guys with foreign degrees and accents to moderate it's primary presence online and decide what the UNP should look like to the online community? If the governing council, politbureau or whatever of the UNP has givena chosen few this right then that is an indication of what kind of people the UNP top rankers trust.

And if they have been asked to only keep comments favourable to the UNP and to delete comments which are even slightly critical of the UNP, then that tells us about the attitude of the UNP's leadership with regard to the issue of free speech. The fact that they are willing to let a bunch of intolerant nerds run their website is scary, but expected, given the party's history of brutally crushing the free media.


The Point Is?

The official Ranil for President website of the UNP tries very hard to say that in keeping with Ranil Wickramasinghe's strong belief of inclusion they have made this website so that all people online who are interested in visiting it can say what they want to (within certain limits of decency of course). It is trumpted as a democratic space.

But we know it is not a democratic space. All of the three comments I left in the past week have been messed with. Two have been deleted and one has been edited. None of them contained any foul language, or any personal attack on anyone. All three of them were slightly critical of the UNP's campaign. They were not even slightly anti-Ranil or anti-UNP. Only comments which call Ranil the great leader are allowed to stay on. Going by that, everyone who's ever visited the unpsrilanka.org and left a comment has been a die hard UNP supporter. A bit hard to believe isn't it?

Indi tries hard to say that it is a blog and that they can do what they want on it, but he's in denial about the fact that it's the only official UNP presence online, and that it is infact it's official website, as stated by Karu Jayasuriya himself! And as a political party in Sri Lanka which is trying to get their leader elected as the President of this country, unpsrilanka.org is the online mouthpeice of the UNP. It never was the UNP's private space to do what they want online, and it still isn't. It is the place where the UNP meets the online community.

They should realise that the cyberworld isn't just filled with geeks and nerds who think politics is a parrot who swollowed a watch, but also has many people who have some sense of the Sri Lankan political scene and expect the UNP to maintain their website with some level of responsibility.

Go ahead, delete what you want while calling yourselves inclusive and democratic. It's your site and you can put pictures of giant multicolored pigs with wings on it. You're just letting the online community know who you really are.


Old Tricks Don't Work


The other webmasters of the UNP do not seem have to realised that the online media is not like the broadcast or print media where they can fake inclusion and democratic practices easily. Anyone who's worked in the media for long enough, under both UNP and SLFP regimes knows how well these people bullshit about freedom of the media while they keep a tight leash on the state media and use it to trash their opponents each time election time comes around. Pulling the plug during an interview, putting some hiss on the tape when someone you don't like is speaking, pushing stories favourable to the oppositing to the back of the news bulletin or the back pages of the newspaper is something that has been done by both the UNP and the SLFP. Let's not even mention the times when there's been direct Government censorship of all news and broadcasts and publications. (At least the JVP media isn't fake. They don't even pretend to be inclusive!)

When Ranil became PM in 2001, while on a tour of the USA he spoke to the Washington Press Club about how he was the champion of the free media in Sri Lanka and how they were going to stick to established principles of free media and all that. Meanwhile, back home, his party was busy consolidating their control of the state media by firing people friendly to the SLFP/PA, and by strengthening their relationships with the private media by offering them big fat carrots. For the first time in Sri Lankan history, one party controlled both the state media and a huge chunk of the private media. All this while Ranil was harping about media freedom.

They maybe able to hide their lies in the print and broadcast media but unfortunately (for them), these tricks are not possible online. The sooner they realise this, the better it is. Trying to play these silly games online only exposes their intolerance and the fundamentally undemocratic nature.

Comments:
 
Being a partisan political propaganda site, UNPSriLanka is more susceptible to vandalism than other personal blogs. Therefore you cannot question its moderator's right to remove inappropriate comments.

The issue arises when he/she modifies perfectly reasonable comments without informing the readers that they have been modified.

As the mor-fucker explained in his last entry (hehhe.. entry?), the comments that you see on the UNP blog are quite different to the original comments that people have left. Even mild criticism of the UNP is not tolerated.

The problem is that these comments are attributed to people whose views are vastly different from what you see there. Morfucker is (he says so) not a UNP supporter (although he's gonna vote for the UNP) but if you read his comments there, it'll look as if he's just another one of those green bloods who think that the sun shines out of Ranil's arse. Not that he isn't - but that's not the point.

Basically the UNP is using other people's names for propaganda purposes. They would be seen by the readers as endorsing the UNP policies - which they aren't.

If a newspaper wrongly quotes someone I believe it can be sued. Shouldn't the same apply here?

Btw, Morquendi is actually a closet UNP supporter. He's just criticizing them to keep his leftist credentials intact. He's hoping that the UNP will legalize gay marriage so that he can get married to Sittingnut.
 
Apart from the ability to swear like an illiterate fish-wife, hate Tamils & pretend to hate gays & be an all round schmuck (who thinks he can cook but obviously can't), have a really flat nose & a very dark skin (are you a closet Indo-Dravidian?) - exactly WHY do you think that anyone is going to read your comment???

Mate - there's a whole world out there - for God's sake go and make another Blog friend - somewhere, anywhere.

How does that rhyme go - "You're a Loser matey"
 
qt1. (by the_alpha_male28 from gnxp.com)
When i was young, I once drove through a Tamil district in South
Africa and I was horrified by their appearance (don't mean to be
insulting). I asked "what the hell are these people?" I was told they
were Tamils and my cousins made a few remarks as to their unpleasant
appearance. I couldn't wait to get the fuck out of that place - their
appearance literally scared the shit out of me. I also remember they
were poor - very poor.

qt2. (Sir Hudson McLean)
Historically, both the TTT in particular and the Tamils in general
have had a basic lack of civilised culture. Their mentality is very
close to that of the Vikings. Barbaric, is an understatement. Sticking
a few hundred fish hooks onto the back of one's body and pull a
bullock cart to pay as penance for one's sins, is barbaric. Why can't
they go to their Kovil and pray in silent communication with their God
like the Buddhists, Christians, Muslims or Jews, is a question. They
are bent on inflicting pain, to themselves as well as on others.

qt3. (razib from gnxp.com)
i did hear a funny story about a slutty friend of mine who had sex
with this guy, assumed he was black, until he turned the lights on and
she saw he had straight hair. he'd worn a baseball cap the whole time
they had hung out that day (first time they met)-and was dark with
rather non-caucasoid features. he was tamil. she also told me it made
sense, because she had thought he had the smallest cock she'd seen on
a black guy while they were doing it (i hope that doesn't sound
racist? that's a quote).

qt4. (colorq.com)
A group of African American tourists stopped a Tamil boy on the
streets of Singapore, thinking he was also a black American. They
asked him which state he was from. To their surprise, he replied, "I
was born here".
Background: The Tamils are a South Indian group. Some South Indian
males residing in the U.S. have been mistaken for African Americans.
 
Yes of course - my fault, any reference to racial features & skin colour was bound to bring this on... but my point was that dextr suffers from a huge inferiority complex because of the fact that he doesn't look in the slightest bit Aryan.
 
what sinhala racists don't seem to realize is that tamils and sinhalease look pretty much alike.
 
That was my point - dextr doesn't look like particularily anything except he has some features which I pointed out which might even make him look Indo-Dravidian :)

However, what he looks like on the inside is what truly comes out in this blog - yep it's true folks - dex looks like a GOOSE!
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