U.S. causes Splinternet, or the perfect example of a completely misleading news title

The way in which this fairly reasonably reported news item is titled is just ridiculous: U.S. domain deregulation could fragment World Wide Web into ‘Splinternet’.

Reading that title you would be forgiven for thinking that the U.S. had suddenly made it possible for restrictive regimes to better control the Internet in their countries. Read the actual article and you realize that the title bears absolutely no relation to the actual content. In fact, the actions of the U.S. government (in the case of ICANN) have absolutely nothing to do with other countries clamping down on speech and access. The ICANN issue was presented as an example of U.S. attempts to distance itself from the regulatory bodies that manage the web while other countries (like Turkey) are seeking to further control and regulate the Internet. Counties can regulate, monitor, and control the Internet regardless of who manages the wider network infrastructure (see China).

The sub-head is actually more closely matches the text and should have been made the actual title: “Some governments ponder decoupling from World Wide Web and create an intranet.”

I don’t know if this is a politically motivated title or just a cynical attempt at generating traffic. Probably both (the Times historically being a conservative-leaning rag). If nothing else the title just further pumps the volume in the anti-Obama echo chamber.

All that being said, I did find the actual article entertaining (if not particularly informative) thanks if nothing else than to this quote:

When Turkish communications minister Lutfi Elvan told daily newspaper Hurriyet last week that he was planning to “detach” Turkey from the global Internet, he quickly became a target of ridicule around the World Wide Web.

“The man is clearly an idiot,” Andrew Duff, a member of the European Parliament, tweeted in one derisive response.

Though I quested whether or not Duff meant to post that. I don’t know his politics, and he quickly followed up with the opposite sentiment.