Friday, June 12, 2009
Rant #30: Abuse of the Internet
Just to continue my thoughts on the previous post for one last time ...
As a writer, I do believe in free speech.
However, I do not believe in the abuse of free speech, although I understand that oftentimes, the abuse is in the eyes of the beholder. For instance, my recent rant about gay marriage could be looked upon as free speech abuse by some. So could my rant on ties, or women and swimsuits, for that matter.
Whatever the case, I think we are in a new era of free speech, because the Internet has given some an electronic pulpit from which to spew their hate--and through the Internet, this hate can get to many more people than other hate campaigns could in the past.
It does appear that the Internet is akin to the Wild West now; there do not seem to be any rules, and whatever invisible "rules" there are, are seemingly made to be broken. Anybody can say anything; that is both good and bad, because while the Internet gives a voice to people who previously had none, it also gives a voice, and a certain credence, to those who abuse their privilege and responsibility.
Can rules be set in place to monitor this hate? Probably not. But Internet providers can make their own rules about what is right and what is wrong, and certainly, Nazi-themed hate sites are wrong.
I think it is about time for these providers to step up their efforts to weed out this type of garbage.
Posted by Larry at 5:01 AM