SG: Gatekeeping (censorship) by SG 'Blog Aggregators'I have written a while back on how the internet is 'censored' by singaporean blog aggregators, with particular reference to singaporedaily.net. Not only does Sgdaily censor this site, but, according to my associates, the likes of 'Solo Bear', 'Gopalan Nair', amongst others.
According to self-appointed advocate for SGdaily, Ng E-Jay stated that 'unity' amongst the opposition is important and therefore sites which compromise it could be left out when 'editorial judgement' is practiced. He defended the right of SGdaily to leave out sites on the basis that it is their 'democratic' right to do practice said editorial judgement and leave out sites from their lists. What this mandarin of the opposition fails to appreciate is that democracy ought not to be used as a medium to undermine it. Hence, to stand up for democracy and the right to censor on the basis that individual rights to censor has to be protected is nothing but a nonsensical confucian twist to the idea of democracy. Well, enough about Ng and the narrow minded and racist twits behind SGdaily. (btw, Ng is not only the political editor of TOC, connected to the SDP, and seems to have been quite vociferous in defending SGdaily that I cannot discount the possibility that much of the main sites of 'new media' are connected behind the scenes and divide labour in how information is filtered for the imbibing by the general singaporean populace.)
Whilst I do quite support Sgbreakingnews.com for its quite representative approach, I have to say that they too practice some slight censorship, or gatekeeping, themselves. So far, my main problem with them is that they too play favourites in determining which article remains under the 'Most Popular SG Blog Updates' for more than a day or so, whilst others are removed before they can become as popular. In putting forth articles as 'popular' on the basis of hits, and keeping particular articles up beyond the time given to other articles is nothing short of creating popularity as opposed to reflecting it.
We must also remember that Legalist-Confucian societies in general, being ultra-conformist, will tend to laud the value of the 'queue', 'billboard' and 'publicity' as opposed to insight and quality. The former, in other words, is used to determine the latter in states where people have their appreciation of detail and independent thought compromised by the general ethos of awaiting top-down directives before thought and action. This tendency is exacerbated by top-down oppression compromising empathy which in turn compromises one's appreciation of the detail in things as empathy tends to take one out of one's zone of familiarity and consider the value of contrasting phenomena and take on novel perspectives required to do so.
An Indian friend, by the name of Mo, once said to me some years ago, that if he was to start a food stall in singapore, he would hire a few Chinese to form a queue. "Like that", said he, "the business surely make it! Other see the queue, surely join!", said he, seriously. Whilst that might sound offensive to those not inclined toward critical introspection, it is, when all is said and done, a true reflection of Legalist-Confucian societies where independent thought is dependent on the trends of thought and thoughtlessness determined by the powerful, prominent and publicised. That is why, amongst a host of other instances, when one goes into a shop and asks for a quality product, the salesperson almost always states with confidence, 'This one is good, its very popular one'. Ridiculous of course, considering that the experts are generally the producers and not the consumers.
In such a state, to 'tweak' the prominent, or to 'publicise' through gatekeeping, is a technique that can have significant impact on the development of thought and thoughtlessness amongst the masses. With that in mind, all truly democratic minds ought to check on those who purport to represent the nation's interests and play the role of the purveyor of information.