Friday, 7 March 2008

spEak You're bRanes

Dodginess abounds in Web 2.0. I have posted about it here and here. One of the worst locations for this on the BBC's Have Your Say page which is a playground for the permanently outraged and confused.

Someone has catalogued all this on spEak You're bRanes (a nod to Iannucci-Morris satire gem, The Day Today). They have even organised it into categories, like Armchair Generals, Curtain Twitchers, Unfocused Rage, Permanently Bewildered and Werthers Original Imperialists to name a few. Makes for great reading.


Anonymous said...

My personal favourite from "spEaK You're bRanes" came from Stuart Booth in Northampton:

"Britain had an empire, we then gave it back because we upset some people apparently, now we have to turn over our society to groups that are not here for our good. Of course we should invest in space exploration and heavily, I for one think that we need to go and find another planet to inhabit, one where we can keep out any undesirables."

The idea of Britain having 'handed back' her empire, and the implied causal link to colonising space in pursuit of some utopian caucasian dream - brilliant!

A distant planet full of white, out of breath faces!

Anonymous said...

Comment pages can indeed become a "playground for the permanently outraged and confused", and as funny as many of the comments on "spEaK You're bRanes" are, wider issues are lurking just outside the playground gates...

Any attempt to filter comment postings will form the embryo of wider censorship schemes.

The egalitarianism of the internet is its foundational strength, and online forums are merely a more tangible manifestation of free speech.

And as with free speech, disqualification should only hang over offensive remarks.

It is tempting to mischaracterize those who post comments as a daft minority of full-time complainers; the sort who have Ofcom's complaint hotline on speed-dial, but I find many comments to be relatively interesting guages of wider public opinions.

They are more than likely what Joe Bloggs is chatting to his mates about over a pint of Carling and a pork pie (or sausage roll) down at their local. Spurred by the mutual affirmation of his beliefs from his comrades, and catalysed into action by inebriation, Joe will go and Bloggs about it online when he gets home.

For example, the post by 'Stuart Booth from Northampton' does tell me that this guy has genuine concerns about immigration, so perhaps it's for the best that we do not sieve through peoples thoughts, cherry-picking those with impeccable grammar, clear lines of argument and accurate articulation.

If we do this, we will inversely be limiting ourselves to what will most definitely be minority participation...