Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kevin07? More like Internet911

Minister Conroy on: Promoting a civil and confident society online 22 December, 2008

505 comments, 10 comments per page, 51 pages

This is or was the government blog.

My plan was to read the comments until I reached a comment that supported Conroy. There are some great comments in there. I reached page 10 and every single comment was against Conroy.
  • 100 comments against Conroy
  • 0 comments supporting Conroy
The people have spoken. This attempt by the government to appear tuned in to the blogosphere has turned into a public relations fiasco.

(btw the title of this post is from one of the blogger sigs)


Graham said...

This would be one of the shortest lived blogs I've ever seen - but the minister could hardly complain about the response. A lot of education bloggers are accused of writing in an echo chamber - this time the minister should be able to hear the voice of the people (digitally savvy respondents mainly) pretty clearly. I'm probably cynical that the government will probably use "the wishes" of the non-savvy voters (i.e. the ones who can be scare-mongered via the media) to keep pushing forward.

The problem is that Labour governments listen less and less to public opposition - do you think that Conroy will keep pushing or do we just wait for their elaborate (and very costly) system to break down?

Bill Kerr said...

hi Graham,

To be honest I'm not so alarmed about this issue anymore because Minister Conroy has been so incompetent that he has managed to unite a huge range of people and organisations against him. Setting up that short term blog was another example of his incompetence. Given the amount of grassroots angst out there the results should have been predictable.

Mark Newton now has a third great letter to Kate Ellis, MP, Minister for Youth and Sport, in which he points out:

"As of December 17th 2008, prominent organizations and individuals with considerable expertise in the field
who have been dismissive about Mr. Conroy’s censorship plans include:

* Australian Federal Police Commissioner Neil Gaughan
* The System Administrators’ Guild of Australia
* Holly Doel-Mackaway from Save the Children5, the world’s largest child protection advocate organization
* James McDougall, Director, National Children's and Youth Law Centre (5. Ibid)
* Michael Malone, CEO, iiNet
* The Internet Industry Association

In my observation, it is difficult to find any credible organization with worthwhile expertise pertaining to this
issue who hasn’t been disrespected by the Minister’s determined ignorance."

I just thought it was really, really remarkable that even in his own government blog Conroy has literally 100% opposition to his censorship plans.

Another (more complex ) issue is that with the Greens and Liberals opposed the government doesn't have the numbers to get this through the Senate. But I doubt that it will come to that. I agree with the Greens Senator Ludlum, that "Labor would drop the mandatory filtering policy in the new year once the now scaled-back trials were completed" (from The Age )