Does Coup4.5 Advocate Violence?
Not openly and directly, but insidiously it would appear, by allowing advocates of violence to comment on its site. It could block comments that contain violence if it chose to do so. The site has comment moderation enabled but all it asks is that readers keep their comments "decent."
It is also quite clear from the conditions of service that guide bloggers on most blog servers that it should block such comments. Wordpress conditions, for example, state that an account holder is "fully responsible for all activities that occur under the account and any other actions taken in connection with the blog" and further that contributors must ensure their comment "...does not contain threats or incite violence towards individuals or entities ..."
Here are two examples of published comments that clearly put Coup4.5 in breach of the generally accepted blog conditions: .
Both comments, published on June 28th, refer to an article on Constitution Commission members.
Anonymous wrote: "We will keep fighting the regime.one day regime will fall.the day frank dies than aziz and fijian armies will struggle for commander post.khaiyum and aziz had plan to let muslim rule fiji.aziz commander/khaiyum pm/madam nazat vp and iqbal janif president.we will not let your rule fijian mf...."
More seriously, Pyro Fan wrote: "Here's what I'm reading:From a former top explosives expert with the Israeli Army comes a manual that presents ten simple yet powerful formulas for explosives and incendiaries that give the basis for making bombs, booby traps and mines. Learn to obtain or make the needed chemicals, or get substitutes.http://www.......... html." [The full address is withheld for obvious reasons.]
On a less violent but equally unreal note, here's a comment from the wannabe Itaukei Mark Manning on the same article:"Arrest him [Prof Yash Ghai] for Sedition when he arrives in Fiji !"
How anyone can think comments like these will help Fiji defies understanding. When it was launched in 2009 Coup4.5 was published by responsible journalists. It was a source of reliable information and responsible commentary— but that was a long, long time ago.
See also related Grubsheet article.
FIJI TODAY AND THIS BLOG APPEAL TO COUP4.5. FijiToday's publisher Peter Firkins says his blog also received but blocked bomb information and expressed concern that Coup4.5 has not done likewise. In support of Peter I wrote this in his blog's comments:
"Peter, As we both know, there’s no totally 'good' or ''bad' side in Fiji. My support for the Bainimarama government is qualified as is your opposition. Coup4.5 used to publish reasoned opposition but now seems to focus on character assassination and accept comments it would once have rejected advocating violence, including assassination.
Our blogs are dedicated to helping Fiji move on to a fairer society and a fair election. We both recognize there’s a lot of hurt reflected in Coup4.5, and while we must sympathise with at least some of the hurt, we must both urge our readers, and readers of Coup4.5, to put pressure on the Coup4.5 publishers to return to its earlier high standards.
All three blogs should be doing as you have said you will be doing wth your blog: “I would like the site to concentrate on the way forward in Fiji and trying to keep the present administration on the path to free and fair elections.”
My blog will do this, while also putting pressure on other parties that, along with government, hold the future of Fiji in their hands.