I’m interested in your reaction to bloggers’ relationship to the French riots (because I may be writing about it in a column) — about the bloggers who were pulled in by the cops for allegedly inciting and about the French blogosphere’s reporting and reaction to the riots. Any help appreciated. Here‘s the Guardian story:
Two bloggers have been detained by authorities in France on suspicion of encouraging people to take part in the Paris riots.
A 16-year-old French teenager and an 18-year-old of Ghanaian nationality are being questioned by Paris prosecutors, according to reports.
One of the blogs was called “sarkodead”, a reference to the interior minister and presidential contender, Nicholas Sarkozy, who referred to the rioters in disparaging terms and has been singled out for criticism by many French bloggers.
The pair have been placed under investigation, which is a step short of formal charges under French law, for “inciting harm to people and property over the internet”.
Sarkodead and the second blog – called “hardcore” – were suspended last weekend, according to judicial officials in Paris.
French bloggers have been divided over their attitude to the riots. Some have tried to calm the situation, while others have tried to inflame the situation.
“I have never got how turning where you live into a war zone proves anything,” said “bobcoloredglasses”.
“If anyone in the ghetto is reading this and is ever part of a riot, try rioting in the mayor’s neighbourhood. I bet you get a much faster reaction, and you can go back to your house that hasn’t been wrecked.”
Another blogger wrote: “It is not by firing teargas into a mosque – in Ramadan – how one restores order. Peace is gained by meeting people. Unfortunately this long-term work does not figure in the presidential planning of Mr Sarkozy. Sarkozy will never be my president.”
: See also this fascinating Business Week story on Sarkozy buying Google AdWords to try to drum up support for his side.
Welcome to the uncontrolled world of media where anybody can try to control it but can’t.