Members of the Global Voices community met this morning on IRC chat to discuss the Reporters Without Borders Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-dissidents. It was an amazing group. Click here for the transcript.
We had a pretty strong argument about whether the use of "cyber-dissidents" is appropriate for the handbook, or whether the word "dissident" will frighten off a lot of people who would benefit tremendously from the guide. (I gave my own concerns about the issue in the review I wrote of the Handbook.) There was a wide range of rather strong views.
One possible solution suggested by Joi Ito was that the handbook could be re-mixed by people in various countries, with different culturally appropriate and non-scary titles and packaging, perhaps with relevant information tailored to specific blogging communities. There was tremendous enthusiasm for doing this, and discussion about how to proceed. Check out the transcript for more
There was also a fairly involved discussion of anonymity and credibility. And a question of the Handbook's goals: to facilitate blogging or to facilitate online free expression more generally? Should people be pointed to options other than blogging when other options might be safer or more practical under specific local conditions?
We're hoping that the Global Voices community will start using the GV IRC channel at irc://irc.freenode.net/#globalvoices to continue talking about these issues, and to orchestrate projects of common concern.