21 May 2007

Fiji Human Rights Commission comments on bloggers queried

4:05 pm on 21 May 2007

An academic in Fiji says the director of the Fiji Human Rights Commission has been overstepping the mark by launching personal attacks on those who advocate the right to free speech in blogs.

The director of the FHRC, Dr Shaista Shameem, had requested the University of the South Pacific to caution its academics to provide accurate information to their students, colleagues and the public.

A radio and multi-media lecturer at the USP, Patrick Craddock, says Dr Shameem was inferring that because he supports free speech, he supports all the other nasty things about blogs.

"She's inferring that blogs are irresponsible and my point of view was that blogs are both responsible and irresponsible, as I say they are sort of good bad and bloody awful, but she said that roughly, only ten percent of the information is valid for the public, and my argument is, how can she decide what is valid?"

Patrick Craddock says he deplores racial and obscene comments on web blogs, but there is a whole history of blogs doing very good things, like revealing information on the 2004 Asian tsunami.