April 2, 2015

Blogging: It has been good, ugly and calamitous

Let’s start with the calamity, not because that makes the headline but because it is too unfortunate to have happened.

Bangladesh blogger - the third one in a year - pays with life


Yet another blogger, Washiqur Rahman, has been killed in Bangladesh. Remember the recent killing of Avijit Roy, another blogger, by extremists? A year back, another blogger had met with similar fate. With the murder of Rahman, fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh have reinforced their message that criticism of fundamentalism or spread of liberal thought will not be tolerated.

Rahman's Facebook page
Dhaka police say, attackers brutally hacked Rahman to death with big knives just 500 yards from his home. The suspects are students from two religious schools of the city.

Rahman blogged under a pen-name, Kucchit Hasher Channa (= Ugly Duckling). Later he shifted to Facebook where he wrote satirical pieces on Islam and joined a number of liberal groups.

The pretty ugliness of blogging


#facesofprostitution: do these look victims?
Well, we don't know if it is ugly but it sure started with being pretty. A film 'Pretty Woman', which was released 25 years back, came for criticism last week on the blog of 'Exodus Cry' for fantasizing sex trade while a majority of those in sex industry have faced rape, drugging, being taken hostage or strangled. 

The blog post is now generating protests from sex workers. Sex workers peeved with the Pretty Woman post say, the blog gives the impression that all sex workers are victims and that puts their profession in a demeaning stereotype. In fact, a hashtag #FacesOfProstitution is trending on social media, with sex workers sharing their happy experiences and showing pride in their profession.

Bernanke and blogging – are you serious?


Ben S. Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chairman is known for his strong actions and views on economics and finance. But now he is a blogger! 
Bernanke's Blog

And what will he write about in his blog? You guessed it right: economics and more economics.

Bernanke’s blog is on Brookings Institution’s blogging platform. In his very first post, Bernanke argues that savings are not a virtue that they are made out to be, and low interest rates are hurting the rich more than the poor.