It’s good to talk
It’s pretty common knowledge I like to share my thoughts and encourage a bit of debate, so this subject really got my attention.
Have you noticed the trend in recent years where large corporations have taken advantage of a vigorous and quite severe libel law, in which they’ve sued, particularly media organisations, for criticising their company and supposedly damaging their reputation? Although it’d be extremely drastic to compare these petty and sometimes minor offences to the dictatorship in China, there’s some real similarities.
A government u-turn
The government are now looking to give us all some power back by enabling more freedom in what we can say and how people express their opinions, not only does this enable more debate, it hopefully removes costly and wasteful legal cases.
The point I’m trying to make is that our society suggests that a versatile form of debate and expression is good, yet libel massively hinders this, this reform expands democracy and I’m all for it. Obviously a line must be drawn as to what can be said, there must remain some form of ethical understanding – it’d be immoral to continually target a particular party.
A move to people power?I believe that we’re moving away from the media having the power to tell us what we think, too. With social media exploding over recent years (appreciating that I’ve only been tweeting since last year) I’ve realised it’s fundamental to how we communicate as individuals on a daily basis. Sit this in top of libel reform and it’s interesting stuff in how the public can “feed back”. Of course we need some degree of fair play since anyone can create an anonymous account and proceed to abuse and harass online, it’s the principle of it that excites me though.
Thankfully, it seems like the government have proposed a bill in which internet operators may have to disclose the information of troublesome individuals (trolls as they’re known) to police should things get out of hand, useful in a battle to fight these online trolls and more reflective of how it works in the real world.
Although I fear the end of anonymity on the one hand, and the positivity it can enable, it’s important that those few individuals sitting cowardly behind a screen sending slanderous, racist and sometimes threatening remarks should have to deal with the consequences of their actions. That’s the real world