Saturday, February 6, 2010

It was just a matter of time

Lund University in southern Sweden is apparently trying to impose restriction for blogging about campus life. Religion, politics and too negative stuff about other students and teachers are disallowed. Since the students are official spokespersons for the university the heads of the academia feel it is imperative to quench any ‘offensive’ talk.

This is the righteous and sneaky approach and these people probably don’t even realize what this means. I would also guess there are a lot of you out there that really don’t mind, shouldn’t they be restricted in this manor when writing for and about the university they are at?

Well, what if the university discriminates against Muslims or Jews, shouldn’t that be acknowledged? What if the campus is badly run? Isn’t that something potential student should know about? What about the lack of housing? It can take many months to get a decent accommodation; any would-be attendee should have that information, no? And this is a publically paid for institution, why should students be banned from writing whatever?

What should be worrisome are the next steps and the spilling-over effect. If students aren’t allowed to write about politics and religion (that incorporate pretty much everything) on the university server, won’t this effect how they act in private? If you study at a certain institution that has outlawed certain opinions and topics it will affect how you write your own blog. It’s only natural. Also, as a former student union president, I can tell you that certain teachers will punish any “wrong views” and many will know this and adjust accordingly.

And whatever happened to free speech? Isn’t universities supposed to encourage free thinking and debate?

But the real problem is how this fits in with all the rest.

I’ve many times written about how media and pundits continuously report about and scare us with ‘news’ that crimes are committed and planned everywhere in cyberspace, how terrorists send email to each other, how horrible hackers steal grandmas savings, and how any teenage daughter are helplessly picked up by predators each time she sits down in front of a computer.

Not a single day goes by without papers telling us about the latest online-con whereas tricksters scam unsuspected people to give up their bank-statements and home address. News stations cable out daily how piracy is and should be combated. And ‘Grooming’… it all comes back to the Childreeeeen, doesn’t it? If we were to believe the righteous elitists then every man logging on is a drooling kiddy-porn fanatic.

So I regard this little university hindrance as yet another step on this totalitarian road.

Of course there will be some loud voices about this, maybe the university even will take a step back as a consequence, but you see it does not matter. The issue has been raised, the seed has been planted. Soon another institution will follow, then another. After that there will be more restrictions, probably on a national level. And so it goes on in a never ending expanding fascist wet dream.

This is how the system works. Baby-steps that together form a cohesive whole.

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