WARNING: THIS MESSAGE CONTAINS BLOCKED CONTENT
Some content in this message has been reported as abusive by Facebook users
Freedom of Speech ("Free Speech") is the right to freely express in speech without limitation or censorship. It has a long history in Western civilization and in the United States is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19 refers to the "right of freedom and expression...regardless of frontiers." As a resolution it is not legally binding on all countries.
Since the beginning of the internet in popular culture we have enjoyed most aspects of what we in the United States refer to as free speech but it has largely been by the graces of the companies that operate the backhaul networks of the internet, those who run the sites on the web and in the tradition of the originations of the internet. It is not an inherent right although there are legal precedents and organizations that work to protect it. Generally the Western World has looked kindly and turned the other way, since historically free speech is culturally and legally ingrained and also benefits commercial interests. The clearest example of a country that does censor the internet is China.
In other words if you don't follow the Terms of Service to the satisfaction of the website, they can restrict your use or discontinue it completely. It is your choice to participate or not and follow their terms, since there is no inherent right to access a website with stated restrictions, agreed to by the user. Sometimes these decisions are arbitrary and unevenly and unfairly enforced. Social networking websites are a private enterprise, presumably with the intention of making money, with legal rights of their own and realistically users have little recourse in decisions.
@TooMuchToTweet from JR Snyder Jr on Vimeo.
The warning message at the beginning of this blog post is what I now receive when I attempt to post a URL from this website blog, on my Facebook profile, to be distributed on the Home Page News Feed. Essentially jrsnyderjr.com has been blocked by Facebook from posting blog post notifications, as has been my habit daily for a while now. It occurred yesterday after I posted "On Illegal Immigration | Unless you have lived in Arizona a long time..." and some unknown user(s) reported it as abusive from the News Feed. You can read the blog post to determine if it is abusive or not and make your own decision.
The truth is the genie is out of the bottle. These sites already have our information and in the future what they do with it may well be out of our control now they have it. Their willingness to share with each other grows every day, Microsoft and Yahoo! being examples. Astoundingly, without blinking an eye, every indication is that more people are willing to divulge even more information about themselves than ever before. Read yesterday's NY Times article "For Web's New Wave, Sharing Details Is the Point." There is little thought about how long this information is stored and kept around and (mis)used in the future.
For those who do, that is their choice.
I've been thinking about this for some time now and my choice is not to participate any more than I already am...actually less. I am no longer on Facebook but I recognize they have my information stored. I do not wish to give up the enjoyment I gain from social networking online completely but sometimes...
it is just too much.