Monday, October 30, 2006

Blogs Clash with Military Culture...

Xeni Jardin reported on today that the U.S. military is tightening controls on milblogs - blogs maintained by military personnel, particluarly those serving in Iraq - for security reasons, and that many bloggers are ceasing to share their frontline experiences as a result.

But what is perhaps most interesting about this story is how the crackdown "signals a growing culture clash between military traditions of censorship and the expectations of young soldiers weaned on open digital culture".

Offering email and internet services to our military was originally claimed by the Pentagon to boost morale. However, based on circumstances on the ground, particularly in places like Iraq, it seems quite understandable that the military would be looking to censor these blogs for security reasons.

This might be something of a hint of things to come, though. As the first internet generation approaches legal age in the next decade, how much dissent will they voice? As kids are raised on generating content for websites like MySpace and YouTube, what will be their reactions to such military crackdowns in the future?

It is an intriguing question. The Web 2.0 culture - an extremely decentralized system inherently resistant to control - directly confronting the military culture - completely based on the strictest control. Today's soldiers might not turn this into a larger issue, but tomorrow's are another story.


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