What Do Jordanian Bloggers Gotta Do To Get In Trouble?

Tololy wrote an interesting post the other day entitled: “Trouble gets Jordanian bloggers more attention”. It was basically about how Jordan is quite the small humble country without that storm of attention that comes by way of national events which have the whole world talking. Which means that Jordanian bloggers only get the attention they deserve when there’s “trouble”. The word “trouble” got me thinking, but that other kind of trouble. The trouble that has lead to Arab bloggers seeing the insides of a jail cell. And I’m talking about getting in trouble for actually blogging, or for what you’ve written on your blog.

Every Arab country differs from the other. Some play a bigger role on the international stage, mostly for doing something bad. And others are more low key. I think Jordan is one of the latter. Also, every country differs in it’s approach to Internet censorship. Till now there have been no signs that you can actually get in trouble for blogging in Jordan. I do know for a “fact” that Jordanian blogs are monitored. But other than that, I have no idea. I don’t know if “they” take it seriously, if they’re waiting for someone up the chain of command to tell them to take it seriously.

Perhaps it’s because nothing entirely “grand” has come out of Jordanian blogging. In the sense that you don’t see Jordanian bloggers (and what they write) being integrated into the national press. And you don’t see Jordanian bloggers using their blogs to mobolise for protesting something in front of the parliament. So when I say something “grand” I’m looking at the impact, the kind that can get a government scared.

While I would never want to see the inside of a jail cell it is a way to put bloggers on the map. In fact the first blogger to be jailed because of blogging is, in my opinion, a martyr for a cause. Because it forces governments to take them seriously as well as the media, be it national or international. Because blogging is the next big thing. It’s a tool that can essentially bring power back to the people, even if it is only people who can afford the Internet. In countries like Jordan there is almost an unwritten obligation for bloggers to use their blogs for some greater benefit. It’s like being given the power of freedom of speech and then not using it to speak for those who can’t, or worse, not using it for their benefit at all.

So I don’t know. Maybe we, as Jordanian bloggers, should be looking for trouble if trouble isn’t coming to find us first.

Just a thought.


  • Walla your mentality is really impressive. I still can’t get myself to think outside my small universe. lol.

    The thing is I think that we a lot to give, we do protest a lot. But I feel that we protest about social norms, inno we critisize our society in some certain aspects, so we never get in trouble with the law.

    Our laws are somewhat better than those in most Arab nations, you have to admit that. The only thing that I can think of that we can actually protest is perhaps the “Honor Crimes” in Jordan. Other than that, I don’t know what can we protest against. Or perhaps the increase in costs of living and prices, and low wages. Tell you what? Walla we can protest about a lot of things.

    But again, we blog, I can’t call myself a blogger till now, first of all because I have low traffic, and I haven’t established myself on the blogging “scene”, so I pretty much can’t do anything, because I won’t be heard. I don’t know about the rest of Jordanian bloggers, but they seem to be more popular, and they can reach a wider audience.

    I think that Tololy’s theory applies to Jordan as a whole, and not just the segment of Jordanian blogs.

  • Pheras, a person who has a blog is a blogger. traffic and “establishment” just come with the flow, they don’t make anyone more or less of a blogger. trust me.

    it’s not just about protest pheras, it has to do with power. traditional media is powerful, it makes an impact and therefore governments consider it dangerous. it’s about dissimination of information. so part of me is pushing for bloggers and blogging to become just as “dangerous” in the sense that they to retain some power.

  • I don’t think “blogging” is the reason why some bloggers have been put to jail. The case would have been the same if they marched the streets chanting the same content of their entries that got them that attention, or if they designed posters about it, etc. It’s the meat of their messages that gets them behind the bars, not the act of blogging per se- and their willingness to go public about it, not the means they used to act upon this decision.

  • Hamzeh, don’t you wanna be a space monkey? πŸ˜€

    Tololy, like I said, I’m refering to people getting in trouble for what they write…which in turn gives legitimacy to the medium of which they used to write it. or did I misunderstand your comment?

  • Good point. I was in a bit of a meta mood so pardon the dose of philosophy. I think you got my message and in your comment yours is clearer πŸ™‚

  • There is a lot to talk about,but I see them.. THEY are Everywhere

    Malcolm: In your dreams? [mala2e6 shakes her head no] While you’re awake? [mala2e6 nods]

    mala2e6: Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see.

    Malcolm: How often do you see them?

    mala2e6: All the time.

    malcolm: what do u blog about?

    mala2e6: Haifa,Elissa and nancy and their likes,people smiling, dogs running, rainbows. They don’t jail people for that

    Malcolm: I don’t see anything. Are you sure they’re there?

    mala2e6: Sometimes you feel it inside, like you’re falling down real fast. Do you ever feel the prickly things on the back of your neck? πŸ˜‰

    Malcolm: Yes.

    mala2e6: That’s them. They get mad and it gets cold.


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