As someone who respects freedom of speech, I’ve had to question what it really means when posting online blogs. Does it mean that it’s okay to trash the reputation of others or poke fun at people we don’t really like? Or is it meant to be used constructively, as a way to bring something positive to the conversation?
What I believe is that I (can’t speak for “we”) have an obligation to abide by the unwritten rules of common decency and respect.
Online blogs are a way to freely express ourselves, and show others what we are all about. When it turns ugly … insulting to the point of being dangerous … I can, for the most part, ignore what is going on around me and walk away.
Let’s face it, confrontations are uncomfortable. Online confrontations are impossible because what we read in a blog or in a comment box is interpreted in our own voice. We cannot hear the tone of the writer’s voice, and oftentimes what is written can be misinterpreted by a reader. Other times, it’s pretty darn clear what the writer was hoping to accomplish.
I’ve seen written blogs and/or comments where the obvious was just that – quite obvious. There are those who post under the guise of “freedom of speech” to publicly offend or humiliate another person. That, my friend, is a form of bullying and it hurts.
Recently, I was censored for something I wrote on a social networking site that begins with “T” and ends with “er.” I expressed my own personal feeling about a situation that has been prevalent in the news. The site took exception to what I posted and shut down my account until I deleted my tweet, which I did under protest.
The situation angered me. Infuriated me. Pissed me off to the point that I deleted everything in my account and tried to move one. Sadly, moving on isn’t always the solution.
The social networking site doesn’t care if I’m there or not. Their rules, I know, but I’ve seen far worse than what I posted yet far worse is allowed to stay.
The solution is quite simple: Use this website – my personal site – for what is was originally intended. Write what I feel like writing without the fear of being censored.
So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I can abide by the rules of the social networking site that begins with “T” and ends with “er,” and still enjoy the company of a few friends I’ve met along the way while writing here without the fear of censorship.
After all, I am paying for it.
© Catherine Evermore. All rights reserved.