Free Speech – Weekly Content Round-Up

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The right to communicate opinion and ideas isn’t afforded to everyone. Some countries heavily censor what people share and say. Free speech is an important and fundamental part of democracy. Whether some abuse the right or oppress it learning more about the impact of free speech is the focus of this week’s round-up.

Al Franken: Net neutrality vote will be a win for free speech

By Al Franken for Mashable (Opinion)

Actor and comedian turned politician, Senator Al Franken shares his thoughts about how a positive vote in favor of net neutrality is a home run for all citizens and users of the Internet.

Quote from the post

“It’s the simple principle that all lawful content on the Internet should be treated equally. It prevents broadband providers from picking and choosing which Internet traffic will reach consumers and which won’t. It’s what prevents deep-pocketed corporations from buying an unfair advantage over new competitors.”

The progressive ideas behind the lack of free speech on campus

By Wendy Kaminer for Washington Post (Opinion)

College students debate how free speech and censorship can both harm and propel conversations on volatile subject matter. The fine line that divides perception and interpretation of words, which can be deemed offensive or hateful is reviewed.

Quote from the post

“These days, when students talk about threats to their safety and demand access to “safe spaces,” they’re often talking about the threat of unwelcome speech and demanding protection from the emotional disturbances sparked by unsettling ideas. It’s not just rape that some women on campus fear: It’s discussions of rape.”

Transparency reports on trial: New front for free speech?

By Jeff John Roberts for GigaOm

In a post-Snowden era, many tech companies utilize publishing of transparency reports to demonstrate the importance of free speech. However, these reports also include data connected to requests for information from the Federal Government causing some to question privacy rights.

Quote from the post

“Since they began appearing five years ago, the reports have served as an important measure of free speech and privacy. But they can also be a PR tool for the companies that publish them.”

Twitter is furious over Section 66A; Is our freedom of speech over the Internet, doomed?

By Staff for Tech2 News 

India’s Information Technology Act, Section 66A defines the punishment for using a computer or other device (smartphone, tablet, etc.) to send or communicate offensive messages. Recently, 66A has been challenged because the ability to exercise free speech is impeded.

Quote from the post

“As free-speech activists and Internet rights activists have pointed out, Section 66A is often misused.”

Once Over Lightly: Freedom of Speech

By Robert Mankoff for The New Yorker

In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo killings cartoonist Mankoff pontificates on the flexibility of free speech and how far some will go to defend it. A brief post with comic illustrations that offer healthy consideration regarding the subject.

Quote from the post

“Back before the Constitution enshrined the principle of free speech in the very First Amendment, the French writer, wit, and philosopher Voltaire said, “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Happy Friday to all!

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Sarah Hartshorn is a marketing, public relations and social media professional with Vuze. She blogs about content, torrents, social media and a number of other tech topics. Sarah has been involved with traditional and digital marketing since 1998.