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Today’s Editorial February 17: Be wary of blogs

 

Editor

Thursday 16th February, 2006   Posted: 15:59 CIT   (20:59 GMT)

There are two interesting sites on the Internet concerning the Cayman Islands.

One is quite funny and its owner readily admits that the postings aren’t factual, but are merely a way to have some fun with real, ongoing issues in the Cayman Islands.

The other site also employs humour, but it puts the Royal Cayman Islands Police in a bad light. To make matters worse, the owner of the blog is a British police officer with the RCIP.

These sites are Internet weblogs, also known as blogs.

The unfortunate thing about blogs is that they are done anonymously. Anyone can say anything about anyone or any institution, whether or not it’s true.

Many statements on blogs can be considered libellous.

Aside from the legal issue of libel, much of what is posted on blogs are downright lies.

Another unfortunate thing is that these blogs are seen all over the world.

One has to wonder how many potentially good police men or women have considered a job in the Cayman Islands only to toss that notion aside because they read something negative and possibly untrue about the RCIP on the Cayman Cop blog.

Even if any of the allegations being made by the anonymous Cayman Bobby are true, they shouldn’t be aired for the world to see.

If the author of that blog truly cared about improving the Royal Cayman Islands Police Department, then he should air his grievances with his superior. If no satisfaction is gotten there, go higher up the ranks.

We’ve got a new commissioner of police who appears to be willing to listen and act on concerns brought to him by the public and his staff. He should be given a chance to address departmental concerns without having to find out about them on a world–wide blog.

Unfortunately many people actually believe everything they read on the Internet and in blogs.

We are by no means suggesting that freedom of speech be squelched. We are all about freedom of speech.

But we also believe that those who have something to say should have the backbone to say it without the shroud of anonymity.

We believe in it so strongly that we did away with our former policy of printing letters to the editor while withholding the names of the writers.

Gone are the mean and spiteful letters filled with libellous content we were getting from people who didn’t want to be named.

Blogs can be interesting and fun. They can also be mean–spirited and filled with false information.

Each blog should be taken with a grain of salt and those who spit out vitriolic speech via those formats should be boycotted.

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