Rob Oakeshott
Rob Oakeshott Mark Graham

Splendour forum looks at web freedoms

IS THE internet ultimately good for democracy?

According to the Splendour In The Grass crowd keen to wage in on the debate, the answer is no.

The first of the Splendour forums attracted 100 punters to begin with before the thunder, hail and rain forced another 200 under the shelter of the tent.

Marc Fennell, or that movie guy as he is well known for on triple j, independent MP Rob Oakeshott, academic Dr Suelette Dreyfus and professional Twitterer Asher Wolf made their case for the affirmative.

Strangely, one of Mr Oakeshott's arguments included revealing there is a video posted online of the MP naked in the shower.

"I was the nude dude in the shower scene from Psycho and now, because of the politics at the moment, it's made its way onto the internet," he said.

"I can assure you it's a crack shot."

Although he didn't reveal the web address he is looking for more views.

"I am promoting it, it's only had 19 hits so far so everyone get out there."

On the negative team, Hungry Beast journalist Dan Ilic, Craig Reucassel from The Chaser, Byron Bay resident and securities journalist Patrick Gray and millionaire, uSocial founder Leon Hill argued their case with passion, bare feet and even foil wrapped around their heads.

While Dr Dreyfus argued the internet's successes lay in it's freedoms and the power it gives to citizens, the arguments were quickly quashed by the opposing panel.

Mr Hill, who has made his millions from a company which sells Facebook friends and Twitter followers to corporations, knows the perils of the internet and how it can be turned into something destructive.

"Anyone can boost their presence on the internet as long as there is enough money," he said.

"What you can't control is how they use it and who they market to."

The forums continue today adding social commentary and debate to the fold for keen punters.

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