“Freedom of speech” does not mean you can say everything!

Sometimes I feel that people think the Internet is a room, where the laws of our society do not apply anymore… I read an article this morning on Swiss news called Drei Monate Haft für Beleidigungen auf Facebook – and here is an English version of it: Jail for French Facebook user.

Sometimes I wonder how naïve people are. In the community I live a politician was not re-elected because of the – let’s say very macho – statements he made on Facebook. Statements he might have made having a beer in a restaurant with his friends. Even there I think they would have been inappropriate but at the end of the day they stay within the walls of the restaurant (probably) and not within the “walls of Facebook”, where everybody can see them.

Does this impact “Freedom of Speech” – I do not think so. Freedom to me brings obligation as well and part of this means that you are free to say what you want as long as it does not e.g. illegally insult other people. There are laws on that in the real world and they apply in the digital world as well – and this is good

Roger

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