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Sex, race, and secrecy; the dark side of blogging.

As I was making my first forays into the blogoshpere (still hating all the made-up words) I stumbled upon a very controversial blog that I think raises interesting questions about the responsibilities of those who write and read blogs. Chinabounder is a white male living in Shanghai, supposedly an expat who teaches there, who documents his sexual encounters with the local women on his blog. This has caused a furor among the conservative Chinese population. Other bloggers have attempted to out Chinabounder (discover and publicize his true identity.) The comments on both his blog, the one trying to discover him, and the metafilter listing where I discovered it are all fascinating. I haven't fully digested it all enough to come to a cogent conclusion, but I feel like there is a lot going on here that needs to be discussed. Is there justice in the blog world? The people trying to out him seem to be trying to employ a vigilante model, coming together to scare him into silence and shut him down. Are they justified? How much identity-protection do bloggers deserve? Are there limits to free speech in the blogosphere and has Chinabounder violated them? The world is getting smaller everyday, thanks in a large part to the internet. It seems that culture clashes like this one are inevitable (men, and women, in America documenting their sex lives on blogs are a dime a dozen and no one makes a big deal about it.) Is there anything that can be done to prevent them from becoming so vitriolic?

There are many, many blogs

There are many, many blogs like this, and I find it interesting that this one has sparked so much outrage (though I understand why).

There is, however much discussion on how the internet has affected mob justice in china.

Chinabounder Interruptus

Was anyone else, um, frustrated in their attempts to access Chinabounder's actual blogsite? It's no wonder that with all the uproar he would have set limits on his readership, but it seems to me that this "invitation only" move raises further questions about privacy and protection in the internet realm, as well as giving me cause to wonder who, exactly, made the "approved voyeurs list" for Chinabounder's sexploit party. Who can you trust when metafilter is out to get you?

The intense debate sparked by Chinabounder's controversial content recalls some of our class discussions, namely those regarding the blog world's attempt to define itself via difference--eg, we are not Xanga, we are not Live Journal, we are not Postsecret, etc. In at least two of these cases, Xanga and LJ, the issue seems to be one of content and the (adolescent) identity attached to that content, and it's an identity the established bloggers don't want attached to their quest for legitimization and self-definition. So I wonder if at least part of the vitriol is due to wanting to disassociate blogger identity from Chinabounder's content, which, in addition to being misogynistic and culturally insensitive is, according to metafilter, downright bad writing.