Blogospheric pressures in Singapore: Internet discourses and the 2006 general election

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Abstract:

Singapore's technological prowess as one of the most networked cities, societies and nations is reflected in most statistical data. In its latest Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015) master plan, Singapore plans to integrate all aspects of info-communications into a single ultra-fast broadband platform that will be capable of delivering ultra-fast Internet. This paper provides a brief update on the extent of technological and Internet deployment. More importantly, it looks at how the Internet has further developed by analysing the events surrounding the 2006 general elections in Singapore. Each election in Singapore is arguably a key regulatory milestone for the Internet because new rules are either invoked via new or revised legislation or new warnings are issued to keep a lid on the effectiveness of new technologies. While Singapore has been unique in its regulatory approaches with censorship of racial, religious, pornographic and terrorist-related websites, it has also enabled its citizens in acquiring and developing credible technological competencies. This paper examines the impact of the regulatory landscape on the explosion of the Singapore blogosphere scene and considers whether the regulatory landscape has been altered following pressures brought about by blogs and other alternative websites. It argues that the implementation of both overt and subtle controls of alternative political websites as well as heavy-handed actions by the authorities to rein in errant Internet users and bloggers, along with the occasional talking-down of the significance of the Singaporean blogosphere, have accentuated the ambivalence that the Internet in Singapore has (re)presented.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10304310903294804

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Creative Technologies and Media, and Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia 2: Independent Scholar, Singapore

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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