Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wonko Speaks and is Unafraid to do so!

Things have been hotting up on the information superhighway.

The anonymity of the internet is finally crumbling.

And that is only right, because free speech is not the same thing as slander or defamation. The internet is a wonderful tool for communication but as with all tools, it should and must be wielded with a balanced hand.

For example, Facebook - which is a wonderful social networking site - can also be abused. Some examples of its abuse?

1. The Fake Daniel Morcombe Ransom Page

2. Facebook used as a racial attack

3. A teacher dies - it is still unclear of whether or not it was suicide - but there is a strong link to naked photos posted on Facebook

4. Police investigate Trinity web tribute porn - the posting of obscenities following the already obscene taking of an innocent child's life

Guilt or innocence, of course, is for the courts to decide. But the message is clear - cowards hiding behind the internet to spread their twisted poison are likely to come unstuck.

Then, of course, there is also the major risk of online activity jeopardizing that very judgement of innocence or guilt. When sufficient public exposure occurs, it becomes difficult or impossible to obtain a fair trial. In such cases there is a risk of the guilty walking free.

On the other hand, the ludicrous web filter that Conroy wishes to impose on Australian citizens (and which will mark the end of his political career if this blogger has his way) may well do more for the destruction of free speech and shared information than anything else. Especially as it already appears to be censoring government information which is considered topical.

We do not deserve this type of censorship.
We do not want this type of censorship.
But given some of the abuses of the internet, it is very easy for a government to argue that we do need this type of censorship.

Which is why we must accept accountability for what we write and what we say on the internet - just as we would in newsprint or in a public square. And this is why cyber-poisonpenners being hunted down is a victory for everyone and yet another nail in the coffin of censorship.

Accountability not Restriction.

This is the opinion of Wonko.

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