Dippy MEP suggests that bloggers should reveal who they are and also reveal whether they\’ve got any connections or interests to the subject(s) under discussion. Marcel Berlins seems to think this is a good idea.
It is that anonymity that\’s at the hub of a debate and vote that takes place in the European Parliament tomorrow. An Estonian MEP, Marianne Mikko, is worried that a growing number of blogs are written with "malicious intentions or hidden agendas". She proposes that bloggers identify themselves and declare any interests they have in the issue they\’re writing about. Her concerns should be taken seriously. We, the readers of blogs, do not, and normally cannot, know who lurks behind the funny nickname. We need more information about the writers so that we can decide how seriously to take their opinions. Has she a personal stake in whatever it is under discussion? Does he belong to a dodgy or extreme campaigning body? Is she the sister of the owner of the restaurant she\’s recommending? Does he bear a personal grudge? We don\’t know.
Hmmm. Just thinking about this a little. Will Hutton has been screaming his head off about how the government should be spending billions upon billions to stave off the collapse of the housing market. You have to dig around quite a lot to discover that Mrs. Hutton is a buy to let property developer. Should this information not be appended to every Will Hutton column?
Or is what we do for free in our own time to be regulated more fiercely than what journalists do for pay?