Amnesty International reports that an Egyptian blogger is now facing up to 10 years in prison for criticizing Egypt’s religious authorities. A German blogger writing about constructing buses in China even faced an invitation to a court in Bejing. And everybody knows of Ellen Simonetti becoming famous for being fired by Delta.
A major difference of blogs to accredited journalism is also the limited capacity to respond to any prosecution: I don’t have any money for a lawyer while newspapers and journals can hire dozens.
Sure, science blogs are much less intrusive but there is always a risk that the empire will strike back; 99% of grant and paper reviews are anonymous.
BUT, there are good news – the blog community is large and always alert. As a science blooger writing on bad science you can now even get nice prizes – gratulations to Ben. Don’t forget that all students arriving in your lab have read your weblog first.
Refraining from all activities also involves some risk, yea, yea.