Speech freedom and responsibility

Freedom of speech entails a lot of courage, especially in countries where the media is state controlled. People in countries ruled by one-party-system were and are still afraid to express themselves freely even when speaking to a stranger. In Russia, there was a competition for the best political joke as an opening on free speech. During the communist era, people were afraid to express opposition to the regime even to their closets friend for fear of being reported to the KGB. However, this campaign was just a joke as in recent years freedom of speech seems to be repressed with the death of journalists like the famous Anna Politkovskaya .

Despite the opportunity the internet gives people to express themselves through blogging, there are still risks of being caught. Yahoo and Google are particularly known for passing information about net users, especially in China, leading to prosecution and imprisonment. There is still censorship as many sites are closed. In Morocco, Google Earth and Live journal aren’t available. There were attempts to close Youtube. But this lasted for only a week.

One area that has become a breeding space for those seeking free expression is blogging. Many are using this tool to communicate their views. But blogging can’t be without shortcoming as there is the risk of publishing unfounded ideas, especially when it comes to religion or race.

Despite for calls for total freedom of speech, there is still scepticism about blogging as it can be just about inventing news. But blogging can be fascinating and inspiring if it is about views that seek to bridge the gap between opposite tendencies. Bloggers should have responsibility about what they publish. They shouldn’t use free access to the internet and internet facilities to propagate disparaging attitudes. Blogging should be an open forum for people to share ideas with one another across the world regardless of nationality, creed or race.

If some use blogging as an escape from news censorship imposed on professional journalists, they should learn to be enlightening and inspiring. However, blogging remains for the few lucky. Currently, there is still information divide because of basic and computer illiteracy affecting poor countries.

Bloggers can be more challenging if they can get reliable sources for their output and come up with convincing opinions. Blogging should at least remain a mental exercise and an intellectual leisure. The more one blogs, the more one gets new horizons through personal efforts and continuous mental drills.

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