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Ban the blog

A while back, David Bullard published an article calling all bloggers "anonymous, scrofulous nerds". The response was amusing. Bloggers from all over South Africa lashed out at him, apparently causing the largest amount of traffic on the South African blogosphere ever.

I'm not going to comment on that whole little fiasco, apart from saying that trolls should always be ignored, without exception. What I do find interesting, though, is a headline from today: De Lille urges crackdown on Internet blogs.

If Patricia de Lille knew anything about the internet, she would know this is a surefire losing technique. She has basically picked the most vocal, and by far the most enabled community in the whole country, and then gone ahead and pissed them the hell off. "Bullardgate" shows that bloggers are keen for a fight. But the 09 F9 fiasco of a few weeks ago1 shows that you cannot censor the internet. Anyway, why the hell would you want to? Because somebody said something mean about your dude? Shame, man.

1. The 09F9 fiasco happened when the AACS Licensing Association sent out takedown notices to a number of websites which had a certain number on them. This number, to be precise:

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
This number is the key that certain software needs in order to play encrypted DVDs - using this key, one can bypass the encryption and copy protection, and thus allow the DVD to be played anywhere. When they sent these takedown notices out, there were only a few sites hosting the key, and it had received relatively little attention. The takedown notices outraged the freedom-loving citizens of the internet, however, and the key started springing up everywhere. It appeared on all the major user-provided news sites, which then tried to suppress it, resulting in an all out revolt on the part of the users. If you google for the number now, you get about 2 million matches, all of which host the number illegally, according to the AACSLA. Just by showing the number above, my blog becomes one of these illegal sites. I'm okay with that, though.