Thursday, November 16, 2006

Free Speech vs. Dokdo (A blogger is censored)

hattip to Marmot

A teacher writing in his blog called Occidentalism has been asked by the president of his university to cease writing about the Dokdo issue.

I had planned to write two more pieces for my series on Dokdo/Takeshima, but the president of the university I work for in Incheon has asked me not to post anymore about “Dokdo” on the Internet. He told me that it was a sensitive issue in Korea and that he had been contacted by individuals complaining of my postings on the subject. He said that he was worried about the school’s reputation.

The president suggested that if I have strong opinions on the subject, I should write about it in an academic paper or hold a seminar rather than broadcasting it over the Internet. I agreed to do that even though I do not think anyone would take a non-historian seriously. Therefore, I will not be posting anymore about “Dokdo” on this site. People who would like to continue to exchange information on the subject can still contact me through my email address.

I am dissappointed that he agreed not to post on the subject though I understand that he may fear the possibility of losing his job if he does not do what the president asks. A couple of good suggestions have been made and one has not. One poster over at Marmot's Hole suggested that he start a sock puppet blog under a different name and continue blogging under an alias. One suggestion that could stir up much needed debate and international attention to the issue would be for him to continue blooging about the issue as he pleases. Let the crazy netizens go after him again and see if the president has the balls to fire him. I think there are enough people on the K-blogs who support free speech enough whether we agree with him or not. If he continued blogging and they fired him then the K-blog community would do as they are doing now, showing outrage at the censorship. Eventually, one of the wire services might pick up the story and before you know it, the issue would be on CNN. Of course, he could then hire a lawyer to sue the university for wrongful termination and make a bundle of money and then he could go on blogging about Dokdo from a beach in Thailand where the netizens couldn't do squat to him.
One more idea, what if in protest, the K-blog community (and anyone else that wants to join in) cut and pasted the articles from his site onto our blogs for everyone to see en masse. Now THAT would get some attention!

1 comment:

Jon Allen said...

well the news made it as far as the Joong Ang daily 'going to the blogs' spot.