Friday, March 28, 2008

Bloggers union begins in Mauritania

The bloggers of Mauritania: One calls himself “Jesus of Mauritania” extolling Christianity; another “outs” people who are “thieves and spies”; a few provide a check on government power; one is a member of parliament; others still comment on social traditions and the role of women in society.

They now have a bloggers union.

Unlike some Middle Eastern and North African countries, the Mauritanian government has given these bloggers some leeway. (For example, the Yemen government recently blocked a popular blog platform that hosted more than 2,000 blogs.) I would argue in this instance Mauritanian government’s relationship with bloggers falls under the guidelines of other West African governments, which generally leave bloggers alone.)

From Menassat:

They are only a blip on the worldwide blogosphere but at least Mauritania's bloggers, all four-hundred of them, now have their very own syndicate, the Mauritanian Bloggers Union.

The union's media liaison, Mohammad Mawloud Ould al-Maaloum, said, "The new union is a congregation of a intellectuals, journalists and writers that decided that with more than 400 bloggers, it was time to meet."

He added that the Union "is trying to bring the bloggers together in the name of (blogger) unity," and as a means "to protect blogger rights."

Uniting Mauritania's bloggers is quite a challenge because of the diversity of the Mauritanian blogosphere. Some people blog in Arabic, others in French. More importantly, some bloggers are devout Muslims whereas others are critical of religion or show sexual content on their blogs.

The Mauritanian Bloggers Union is an attempt to unite all of them under the same banner, irrespective of political opinion of blogging methods.

"The reason behind the meeting of the bloggers is mainly to discussing the current status of the bloggers, and to choose the most efficient methods to enhance their presence and performance," the union's president, Ahmad Ould Islam, told MENASSAT.

No comments: