Chikatime Closes Down: Blogosphere Dies A Little


Indolent Indio notes the passing of gossip blog Chikatime, ending months of dishing dirt on Manila’s high society with an apology.

This is both good, in that snooping on other people’s lives is generally not a cool thing to do, and bad, since snooping on other people’s lives and making fun of them is a big part of what we do in real life. Doing it on the Internet just makes it easier.

Gossip has it, aptly enough, that the bloggers behind it were silenced with the threat of having their identities revealed.

In a full reversal of the media, the Internet has become a lot more like meatspace. Instead of being a marketplace of ideas and free speech, the blogosphere has become, as gossip blogger Kitty Go puts it,”an elementary school playground” where bullies can pound you into shutting up about your comic books or books in general.

It’s not so much the shutting down of a gossip blog, the walls have ears and all that, but the fundamental levels of wrong that silencing a blog is on that is troubling. While definitely not on the level of (re/sup)ression in, say, China or Iran, the thought that someone can reach out through the anonymity of the Internet and tell you what you can and can’t write bodes ill for the Philippine blogosphere. Another blogger, Brian Gorrell, who has also been taking potshots at Manila’s cool cats, seems to be getting ready to quit, too. It’s unclear whether this is also due to pressure from said cool cats, however.

It’s like that poem that Amnesty International sends out about people coming for the communists and the persona not saying anything, and then they came for the Jews, I guess, and the persona still didn’t say anything. It ends with the implied-Nazi they coming for the persona, and there being nobody left to say anything. Rather poetic, really. (Except, of course, implying that it was Nazis who came to take people away when those guys really were Nazis.)

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