I was reading the blogging chapter of Levinson's New New Media and the issue of first amendment rights on the internet caught my attention. Being a staunch advocate for first amendment rights and less control by the FCC in media, this topic intrigued me. Though I may not support blogging totally due to its further breakdown of physical inter-personal communication, I was amazed to read about the versatility blogging can have in bringing people and information together. Blogging and similar forms of new new media have become a way of life, as common as the newspaper in previous times. When everyone begins to use these new media including news outlets themselves, political campaigns, and anyone else that could be imagined, free speech must be applied in the same way that the right was accorded to newspapers. The FCC’s main argument about radio and television broadcasts and decency has always been that the listener or viewer can tune in and hear/see something they did not expect.
The same thing does not apply to the individual’s usage of the internet. When people go online they are actively searching for something among the plethora of information on the internet whether it be a website, blog, place to shop, or research. Depending on what they are looking for, the user has a good idea of what they will find. The user controls their search in the same way that a person would choose to buy a newspaper. The individual is paying, in some way, for the information they are looking for simply by using the internet. If this is a fact, said information should be untainted and unthreatened by any agency, much in the same way that Sirius radio works. If the user is paying for control and information, that is what they should get and it made me really angry to think anyone would try to tamper with that right. Does anyone else have any feelings?