Monday, March 24, 2008

Blogs and Politics

The major candidates in the upcoming election all have official blogs:
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain.

Blogging seems like the norm for these candidates, but I wonder, are there any differences between the blogs? The layout of Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's blogs are surprisingly similar. The posts are listed on the left, with links on the upper right to general campaign things. John McCain tries to mix it up by having his general links on the light hand side.

But I was more interested in the moderation that goes on of the comments. A (quick) look at the candidates blogs, I could find no mention of whether any moderation goes on. I then quickly scanned through the comments of the top post of each candidate (located here, here, and here for Obama, Clinton, and McCain respectively). At the time that I looked, the closest to a negative comment for Obama was something about not always agreeing, but voting for him anyway. Clinton had no negative comments that I could find, and McCain... well, the blog post I looked at was about his bracket picks, however someone did post about the fact that they liked Obama, but McCain was better.

We talked in class about how people in the world often appreciate negative comments, as they convey a sense of neutrality. First though, would we ever expect a politician's blog to be neutral? Secondly, if we expect implicit bias, would it bother us if the candidate just came out and explicitly said that they were censoring comments?

I wouldn't expect that any candidate would leave negative comments up on her blog. But if she did, perhaps it would bring a bit of the Web "openness" to politics.


web difference said...

Apparently, celebrities love to blog as well...

kevin said...

It is rather entertaining that you can even tell on some of the blogs that they delete comments b/c comments that are left up reference negative comments before them that are nowhere to be seen!

On the other side of things, the comments in some of the non-candidate centric blogs can get really nasty with sniping between the supporters of the various candidates. I'm thinking of the comments at many of the politico blogs such as: