Many of us who are champions of free speech and free press feel that we can help protect the expression of those rights by participating in social media. After all, the Internet is one of the last places where we can freely express ourselves without censorship. It is ironic then, that many of those who claim to champion free speech on the Internet also appears to be the most ardent free-speech absolvers.
In fact, it has been noted that many of the most prominent advocates of free speech and free press have become fervent opponents of certain types of social networks such as Facebook. This may come as a surprise to those who believe that they can be the defenders of free speech on the Internet. Many Internet users have become convinced that they need to be politically correct all the time when they discuss certain matters of public interest.
Now, after being forced to admit that they had made mistakes that they are responsible for, they are running back to the idea of free speech. That’s rather unusual, considering all their previous talk about the importance of diversity and inclusion.
However, these same people are now sponsoring a wide range of events and activities that are designed to challenge those who use social media to engage in political rhetoric. The logic behind this is that if those who use Facebook and other sites can’t use them responsibly, then perhaps other methods of communication will be required. This is a rather novel way of looking at free speech issues. Perhaps the biggest opponents of free speech are not the Internet’s politicians but the very people that they are trying to protect from free speech.
For those who support free speech on the Internet, the concept of responsible online political speech is rather hard to understand. They seem to think that any kind of speech – including political speech – is automatically a form of Free Speech Social Network. It’s difficult to understand how anyone could see the free expression acts as a form of violence when it comes to political speech, but apparently, some do. There is nothing wrong with people disagreeing with each other and engaging in political debate, just so long as they do it in a civilized and appropriate manner. What is offensive and what should be protected by law is a different matter.
There is plenty of disagreement on the Internet, and plenty of it is perfectly acceptable. However, there is a difference between having a legitimate disagreement and making threats, including through social network communication. This is something that is often confused with harassment, which is a completely different thing. However, it is important to remember that no matter what you think of President Obama or another politician, they are free speech advocates, just like you and I.
As someone who supports free speech on the Internet, I am really troubled by all the people who call others names on the Internet, including themselves. There is nothing “good” about this type of behavior. In fact, it usually only serves to make someone feel better or more comfortable in their own right-wing bubble. It is unfortunate that many people feel the need to use their politically correct language when talking about others, especially those they disagree with.
The fact is that everyone should have the right to say whatever they want, regardless of who they are, where they are, or what they are doing. If someone wishes to talk about the weather, talk about the moon, and discuss global warming, they should have the right to do so. However, if someone wishes to threaten violence against other people based on their political beliefs, or religion, or race, then they should have the right to do so as well. No one should be threatened, harassed, or attacked simply for their ideas. That is why I support a free speech social network such as Facebook, and other social networking sites.