A few days back Lorelle asked what one would not blog about. People had varied responses. Some would not write profanities. Some would not offend other people with their writing. And others would not blog about work. Generally, it’s about doing others no harm.
What if blogging can bring you harm? We do know that restrictive regimes have jailed or imprisoned bloggers, or at the very least blocking access to blog hosting providers. People have been fired for what they have written on their blogs. It can be worse. There are a handful of arguments against blogging.
Here’s one example of something I would rather not blog about. When I was new to the blogging world, someone close to me witnessed a murder in broad daylight. Standing in line at a fastfood counter, a man was shot in the head and died on the spot. There were dozens of other witnesses, but no one dared move for fear of being shot themselves.
At first I thought that it was blog-worthy, that it was a good case of citizen journalism. I had finished drafting the post and was almost at the point of publishing the entry. But then at the last minute I changed my mind. I thought that I would rather not endanger myself and that person with that potentially dangerous blog post. I have several reasons.
First, I don’t personally know the nature of the incident, and the background of the perpetrators. For all I know those people could be members of organized crime. And they could perhaps come after me and my family.
Secondly, I’m not sure I can trust our authorities here 100%. In my country, while there are perhaps a good number of honest civil servants, hoodlums in uniform are aplenty. And in these cases I would rather not be involved lest I become involved in a very complicated and potentially dangerous way.
Some things are best kept private. Or at least anonymous. In hindsight, perhaps I could have posted about the incident, but somewhere not directly attributable to me or my friend.
Put simply, I like the freedom that blogging gives me, in terms of expressing myself. Both in writing opinions and reporting observations and facts (even news, where applicable). I can even go to the extent of writing negatively about people and companies. But when my life and those of the people close to me are potentially at risk, then that’s when I’ll keep my mouth (and my blog) shut.