Freedom of Facebook

Facebook has recently come under attack for failing to enforce its own guidelines on hate speech and violent imagery. Is it a website’s job to moderate the content its users post, or should users have complete freedom? Is there a happy medium? If so, how would you structure it?

keyboardfreedom

Today’s prompt is an interesting one, which will evoke a lot of different opinions.  This certainly is a prompt where I cannot wait to see the responses!

Freedom of speech – that little piece of legislation that gives normal citizens the freedom to say what they want, when they want.  There are two problems with this.

First off, it is an unfortunate fact that some people do not know where to draw the line, and live by this rule:

impress vs bs

A very good example of this was seen last week on the Facebook page created in honor of the late Lee Rigby.  Some of the responses were heartfelt and sincere, but some of them however were just shocking.  At some point I wanted to ask these Neanderthals whether they realized that the page was not created to entice revenge, but to pay respect to a fallen hero.

Secondly, we live in a society where gossip rules.  Some people seem to live for the next bit of saucy detail, regardless of whether it is true or not.  People would much rather believe something bad about someone than to go to the effort to find out the truth.  It’s a fact.  I’m sure it is not necessary, but if you feel the urge to check whether this statement is justified, simply Google Celebrity Gossip.  I’m sure you’ll get the point.

These issues then poses the problem whether internet speech should be censored.

We all have heard of people whose relationships turned to dust or had their reputation shattered because of what was said by an ignorant fool.  Facebook has become a powerful tool for marketing and activism.  When you come across a new product or service (or even, in some cases, when you meet someone) what is the first thing you do?  We turn to Bing or Google, look at the majority of reports and form an initial opinion based on what we find.  This is where I have a bit of a moral dilemma.

Scenario 1 – Freedom of speech is practiced in every sense of the word:

Freedom is allowed across all platforms and any negative claims made, will have to be backed up with evidence to the contrary.  This would mean employing someone full time to keep abreast of what is being said about your company.  For a company like Monsanto for instance, this has proven a difficult task (especially in the past week) as they have had to deal with an influx of rants from visitors 🙂   I am pretty sure they would rather have had the option to just delete those comments before they can be seen.

However, what happens when a company is maliciously attacked with claims which holds no ground?  They will then be stuck with a huge PR dilemma.

Scenario 2 – Freedom of speech is moderated:

Now, this is pretty much the basis that WordPress works on, and for me, it is a system that works really well!  Any comments by new visitors are placed on “Pending” until such time as it can be “Approved” by the owner of the site.  Once a visitor have been approved, all future communication will appear automatically.   This can however also be detrimental in the sense that the owner then have the choice as to what content he / she wants displayed.  It is a very simple choice to delete a comment which goes against your liking.  I guess it’s a matter of the moral compass of the person in charge.  If you can’t take the heat (criticism) stay out of the kitchen!

I quite like the way things are being done on WordPress and will stick with that for now.

Just remember:

freedomofspeech

 

 

Daily Prompt – Personal Space

Why do we blog? I have been asked this quite a few times, albeit mostly by people who have no inclination to write. Those who blog seem to just “get it”.

I think all bloggers start out from the same basic need: to write. To play with words, flirt with language and have a fling with opinion. To have a space in the world that belongs to you and you alone. Your little corner where your words fill the pages, where you are the master of creation. It is this need that drives me.

Blogging is the perfect playground for exactly this. No editor breathing down your neck or telling you what to do. No one that takes your words, put together over hours with sweat and tears, and shredding it to pieces.

There is nothing I want more than to get published. I am happy to say that I am one step closer to that thanks to Abbott Press! Which writer does not have a quiet, hidden wish to be the next J K Rowling, Dickens or Nicholas Sparks?

For any blogger with a serious commitment there is nothing more important than being noticed. For that reason, I was very grateful for the follow up article by WordPress about statistics and how to use them to your advantage. Silently we all become addicted to the little block which is Site Stats. Therein lies the secret but also the challenge.

How do I attract more readers? More importantly though, you are pushed to constantly improve your writing. To turn your little corner from a shanty into a mansion, where all are welcome and leave satisfied wanting to come back for more.

That is why I blog.

Clone Wars!

Our time, most will agree, have become a most precious commodity. There are so much to juggle, it seems a near impossible task and everything is done on the run. Just take a look at people in restaurants, for instance. How often do you see a few people having a meal together without someone checking their phone for email or messages? It just does not happen anymore.

I have been thinking a lot about time management lately and how to juggle the endless list of things to do. The Daily Prompt forced me to spend a couple of minutes to think about how I would have done it, so here goes. The only downside: I realized I need a lot more clones than initially anticipated!

1. My first clone will have to be the one which is full-time mom to my sunshine, Luke. At 10 (going on 16) he is a handful and deserves my undivided attention to help develop his (already) brilliant mind.
2. We need to pay the rent, right, so clone 2 will have to sort that bit.
3. This clone will do nothing but read! A little villa somewhere near the coast of Spain with a library second to none. There are simply too many good books and too little time
4. Number 4 will have to finish writing the novel I’m working on – oh, imagine: all the time in the world to write, write, write – heavenly!
5. This one will have the challenging task of preparing for the Cape Argus and the Two Oceans half-marathon
6. L’amour – one clone will have to spend time to indulge in love! I am in love with love and would want to soak it up every minute of the day
7. An untrained mind is like a wild elephant running loose in it’s pen. One would have to spend some serious time on personal development and habits.
8. This one would do nothing but spend time with family, catch up on all those times when we were to busy to sit down and chat!

For now, that seems to be it. Now for the task of deciding the order in which to clone them.

One last thing, if we are able to clone, which one will be the real you?