NPR reports that one US soldier – Colby Buzzell – has been reprimanded about his popular “My War” blog and two others have had their blogs shut down after alleged concerns about their revealing sensitive information. Others suggest the Pentagon is more interested in suppressing overt dissent among the troops. The NPR report links to 18 soldier-run weblogs from its page.
I have to say that for all my expressed skepticism about the importance of blogs in general, blogs like My War seem to me to be fulfilling an important role and genuinely doing something novel – allowing ordinary individuals caught up in situations of international importance to express what they are feeling and thinking with a rare directness. Buzzell’s site may not be anything like as influential as the mass media but he says he sometimes gets up to 100 emails a day from readers and that he is now thinking of trying to get his weblog postings published.
It’s stories like his that inspire my own research into the social significance of weblogging and home page creation.