Nudity and Privacy: The Price of Freedom

There we have it again…another wave of shock, mixed opinions and raised eyebrows (maybe along with other parts of the male anatomy) echoes through the local blogosphere as another fellow blogger is kind enough to share how comfortable she is with her body with the rest of the plugged-in public.

Here is the thing.

Personally…I don’t care.

Every blog junkie (yes we have to admit that part) at one time or another would have written a post about how whatever they have writted in their blog is theirs alone and if anyone doesn’t like it, they can just press that little cross on the top right corner of their screen and never visit the blog again.

That’s fair game so far.

Here is another thing.

A picture of a blogger’s breast makes no difference.

So what…you’re going to scream immorality and un-asian values just because a person is comfortable enough to show her body in her blog. Next you have father’s concerned over their daughters because they blog and meet their blogging friends as well. As probably expected in Malaysian society…this is going to get serious for the next few weeks or so and after that you can expect non-blogging people to respond to blogging with this answer.

“Blogs…that’s like a drug where you see naked people right?”

Personally…my parents know I have a blog, but I never do tell them what my blog address is. No doubt, if they google my name they would find my blog without any other problems. Maybe it’s because I have parents that don’t understand about how much blogging defines my life that they don’t have their hands all over it…maybe that’s the best sort of privacy so far.

One way or another, even though I have stated many times that for most personal bloggers, we are all attention seekers whether we like to admit it or not.

However…the attention we crave isn’t without attracting things we don’t want to.

For ever rant about a friend who dissed us is a post we don’t want them to see. For every misgivings you have about your job is a company you don’t want browsing through your blogs. Sure enough, as much as we have expressed our thoughts and opnions for the world to see, there is also a line of audience we fear would have dire concequences should they read our blog…especially when that audience just happens to be our parents. You say its your blog and there is no way anyone is going to stop you from blogging about whatever you want to say.

What if it was the law?

What if that person was your parents who happen to be tech savvy?

I mean…how many of you have parents that read your blog?

Let alone know of its existence?

Yes the net is a free world. This is where freedom of speech runs supreme and as much as one person may be calmed up, there will be a thousand more in his or her place all talking about how one has rights to their freedom to say what they want. The ironic thing about this freedom is that for it to be here without having your ass bitten when you least expect it, we always have to be weary about who reads whatever we say. To quote a famous phrase I always use in my line of work:

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

I repeat again…this is the net. There is no way in hell you can blog about whatever happened in your life and not have curious parties knocking on your door by typing the right words on their favourite search engine. Even as a lot of us personal bloggers who have had this trouble before in the past often find ways of blogging cryptically and vaguely in order to claim misinterpretation should the truth be accused to them, it may work…but not many of us are that good in being vague.

So the problem is still there to begin with.

Problems like this will always be here until there is a way for a blogger’s privacy to be protected. The closest thing that makes sense is what I found in Sashi’s blog about the Eletronic Frontier Foundation’s legal guide to blogging. It’s on the right track even though I doubt Malaysians are protected under the same laws…but it’s a start nevertheless. Though it would do little to protect you from your friends or family.

That happens to be your responsibility.

You can’t have freedom of speech without knowing that other people have the freedom to speak back at you.

That’s just common sense.

Let’s hope we use a whole lot more of it.

13 thoughts on “Nudity and Privacy: The Price of Freedom

  1. You’re so right. Only a handful of people whom I know closely or even related to knows of my blog. The fear of having people I blog about often consumes me as I certainly do not want to expose them in any way. The thought of knowing that any one of my parents just might know of my blog is kinda scary. They’d be thinking, “OMBG, my daughter is a perrrvvv..” I can imagine questions shooting out of their mouths. Them asking me the 1,000,000 dollar question – “When in the hell did you fuck so many men?” *fainted*

    Oh well….my respond? “Been there done that mom…umm dad” *grins*

    On the other hand, as much as I hate to admit, at times it is flattering that people read my blog. Yet, I still get a little paranoid if I knew too many people knew about it.

  2. You know, you could always use LiveJournal if privacy was such a big concern. That’s what I do, when I have to post about:

    Something I don’t want the whole world to know about — anything that could get you into trouble with people you care about, for example.
    Things with regards to my job-searching attempts, and, in future, whatever I post about my job.
    Anything of dubious legal value that would get me into trouble if I decided to post it on a public forum.

    With an LJ I can set it so that entries private, public, protected or restricted to specific groups of users. I don’t have to worry about my parents stumbling into what I do, and I don’t hurt friends and family with flippant and careless words.

    Which is why I was so harsh with the SPG in my post. Had she taken some degree of precaution she might not be in the kind of soup she is in right now. Assuming, of course, she doesn’t want that kind of media spotlight, however brief, on her.

    Of course, if she did, dear god why does everyone want to be associated with her? Don’t you know what a ‘painting a target on yourself’ is?

  3. T-Boy: That’s what I was talking about regarding my two links to my previous post. A lot of personal bloggers blog for the sense of attention…especially with posts like SPG. You can’t blog like that without gaining some degree of negativity based on the same freedom of speech no matter HOW many people may cry shallow journalism. People may cry freedom of speech and the right to blog your own sense…but it works both ways and it has its consequence.

  4. It’s the risk you run when blogging, I guess. My personal way of dealing with things of a sensitive nature is to make them protected posts (I use the WP plugin post levels)… That way I can control who reads what I’m really bitching about. Some people don’t like doing that, and I guess they’ll just have to deal with the consquences of what they post…

  5. Nikkiana: At that statement, I would guess that would make a lot of people who blog that sensitively to all run to WordPress. 🙂

  6. I wonder what are the consequences when my muther finds out about my blog. Technically she can’t find out. Heck I’m an adult so considered my actions adult-rish. I’ve met online bloggers face-to-face, yes, but you just have to becareful. Yes, there are many psychotic people out there. But, in the end when you do have to come out and work, isn’t it the same ol’ thing?

  7. Reta: My thoughts exactly. The world is already there. We can’t hide from it. The best thing we can do is learn to live with it. You can’t do that when we’re cooped up in the shell trying to avoid things in our life that might actually be good for us.

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