Lately there has been a flurry of debates online about Singapore metablog, Tomorrow.sg‘s linking policy, and its policy of not asking for permission before linking people's blog posts.
Some of the debates go right to the heart of issues like whether it is an accepted practice to link to blogs without the need for asking for permission, whether is is morally acceptable, and privacy issues.
The post has attracted high readership and a great deal of participation in the comments section. There are also many spillover posts in other Singapore blogs on this matter. Try Geekazoid who is very upset at having been linked without permission (very strong language).
Idle Days, one of Tomorrow‘s editors, posts some reaction to the controversy. An excerpt:
All I can say that this ‘debate’ has been of much interesting and in some ways slightly baffling one to me (for all the reasons I have stated here) and of course when you look at metablogs like boing boing, Slashdot, Metafilter, etc, you hardly see cries of foul play in their comments. If readers and those bloggers whose posts have appeared in these metablogs demanded permission, they would have gone the way of the dinosaur by now. Perhaps as Singaporean bloggers, we simply don’t get blogging after all.
Adrian Loo at A Life Uncommon finds such reactions arrogant:
Tomorrow, in propounding its linking policy appears to have been caught up in its own expectations of its own rights, without due regard to the rights of others, many of whom provide the substance from which Tomorrow draws its breath.
An anonymous commenter at Adrian Loo's blog disagrees:
Pray tell, how could it be that they are advocating an absolute rights model which theirs triumph over all others when the very tag (“tomorrow I’m not free”) that they respect is created by a blogger, not themselves? If that’s not acceptance and respect of bloggers who do not want to be linked, I don’t know what is.
“tomorrow I’m not free” is a logo some bloggers use to indicate that they do not wish to be linked to by Tomorrow.sg.
The trackbacks beneath Tomorrow.sg's linking policy post show just some of the Singapore blogs and forums discussing this topic (with passionate comments and debates igniting at these places as well). There are other Singapore blogs that discuss this issue, but because those blog owners have indicated that they do not wish to be linked by Tomorrow.sg, they are not linked to.
What do bloggers around the world think of this debate? Are similar problems cropping up in other countries? Please hit the “comments” button and let us know!!