Saturday, April 16, 2011

Freedom of Speech

Today I have the need to speak on the topic of freedom of speech.  "The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the rights of freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference."  The second component of this amendment targets freedom of speech and allows individuals to express information, ideas, and opinions freely in the United States of America.

That being said how does one interpret this Amendment of the Constitution when dealing with social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace?  It appears that expressing one's thoughts and ideas in writing on a public networking site has a different set of rights.  Why is it deemed ok by society to speak one's mind to others orally, but when it comes to putting those thoughts into words then all of a sudden it's wrong? 

One example of where this has become a gray area and where words can get blown way out of proportion is the workplace.  I get that some things should never be discussed such as confidential information or comments made about one's boss or even coworkers.  But, what about expressing one's opinion toward specific situations if it doesn't involve hatred or threatening remarks?  Should an individual be forced to limit his freedom of speech if another individual disagrees or doesn't think a topic should be discussed?

I find it ironic that the purpose of social networking is to do some networking and get to know people, but then you add friends and are then limited to speaking your opinion for fear of offending them.  Unfortunately, I have no answer to the ever growing issue of when freedom of speech is no longer free to speak.

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