UK Government to close 551 websites

"Hundreds of government websites are to be shut down "to make access to information easier" for people.
Of 951 sites, only 26 will definitely stay, 551 will definitely close and hundreds more are expected to follow. "

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6247703.stm

I get the point, but I'm not sure that one office can possibly replicate that much information. I have a hard time believing that not one of the 551 sites below has content the public has asked for. // Ed: They are moving to a universal CMS, but they won't have centralized vetting of information.

The hit list: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6252929.stm

Why this movement worries me:

I have heard, in the past, the sentiment that only pages which make the government look good should be posted online. If you carry that out, it gets sort of scary.

City: No page about reporting pot-holes. We have no pot-holes! We are perfect.
County: No page about domestic violence shelters. We have no domestic violence! We are perfect.
School: No page about zero-tolerance policies. We have nothing to have zero-tolerance about! We are perfect.
State: No page about the state prison system. We have no criminals! We are perfect.
Federal: No page about receiving death benefits for families of veterans. No one dies at war! We are perfect.

If you think this is far-fetched, think about how many cases of HIV were reported by China in the 1980s, or how many are currently reported by Saudi Arabia... We have no AIDS! We are perfect!

*IF* there were one federal website, under one federal CMS system, I worry that the potential for abuse by politicians and their appointees would be much, much greater. The lines of power in the Federal Government don't really go back up to the White House on a daily basis. However, if there were one CMS I think the temptation for "message control" would be much greater.

If message control results in over-editing, the process falls apart and nothing gets posted in a timely manner.

If the message control is really direct, the people whose only interest is in making themselves look good take control of the message, and everybody else looses.

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