Saturday, November 30, 2013

Responsible Free Speech

Why should free speech be turned into free-for-all verbal assassination, reduced to our society's lowest denominator in civility?

There are voices on the Internet against recent governmental moves to bring back some semblance of accountability to online discourse, mainly by limiting anonymity and throwing the book against those who have written falsehoods. Is the government regressing by imposing these regulations?

Considering the level to which some netizens have stooped, I am one who would be very relieved to see people held responsible for what they said. While we all value the freedom and richness of what is available online, who actually benefits if falsehoods, defamation and cyber bullying are allowed to rule unchecked? Only the culprits themselves! The rest of us, who are willing to obey basic rules of decency in engagement, will only suffer at the receiving end of this behavior.

Rules exist to protect the peace loving from the aggressive, those who prefer order and stability from those who seek to disrupt and destroy. There is little to be said for the honor of those who insist on their right to speak without accountability. Perhaps honor has become an old-fashioned concept in this digital age. Personally, having no desire to defame or dissemble online, I would be happy to know that there is legal recourse for those who have fallen victim to the lawlessness that defines the cyberspace now.

FreeMyInternet? Certainly, if you come out from your hiding first. If barbs are received, the victim has the right to know who fired them. Why should the rights of internet trolls be protected above others' right to peace and safety?

1 comment:

speedyrabbit said...

I'm with you on this one,xx Rachel