03 February 2012


Blogs and fora are the main channels that keep any cyber-community connected. Both allow, although in different degrees, the exchange of information. Blogs like this one have obvious authors and that exchange of information is mostly unidirectional—from the author to the readers; but there is some room, through comments, for some bidirectional exchange. But it is on fora where most of discussions and most information are shared.

Now, we wanted to believe that fora are free and open to accept any discussion, but it is actually not like that. After all, fora belong to some people who have their own legitimate interests, and sooner or later, forum administrators show them. The temptation of limiting censoring is the unpleasant way to say it— the expression of ideas in order to protect those interests is hard to avoid. Fora become an extension of their business activities and there are certain limits not to be trespassed… But some of them can become ridiculous and question the role of the forum as an agora to learn.

On what grounds can an honest question on the safety of Noodler’s Baystate Blue be banned? Why does questioning the Japanese origin of Danitrio make the moderator –and Danitrio salesman— lock the thread? Why did asking what a fake is trigger bitter responses from a forum administrator?

All these forum policies and all those reactions of forum administrators reveal agendas and interests. And even if legitimate, they are annoying and misleading. Nobody asked us to participate on those fora, and we all agreed on abiding by some rules the forum organizer set in the beginning; and, by the same token, we could quit and leave any time. However, fora need participants and participants need places to discuss and learn.

The bottom line might be not to be misled by the apparent freedom of fora—they are not free.

(Pilot Super Ultra 500 – Athena Sepia)

Bruno Taut
February 1st, 2012
[labels: fora, Mercado, metabitácora]

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