Saturday, July 24, 2010

Freedom of Speech...Do Bloggers have rights?

Please allow me just one brief rant post about blogging and rights to FREE speech. Where does it cross the line?

I found this story in today's news a bit disturbing? What exactly is Freedom of Speech in this country? What about something called a sense of humor? Has everyone gone off the deep end when it comes to political correctness? Are we becoming a generation of people who are "thin skinned"?

Did this person cross the line with their comments? (please note that his post has been removed) Or has he verbally expressed the mounting frustration we are experiencing in our community regarding bicyclists and drivers? He does in fact pen a blog regarding his work as a TriMet bus driver, which I find unique and very funny.

I'd never write anything on my blog to intentionally hurt someone I know or didn't know, but opinions are like elbows.....every body's got one. Perhaps death threats or at the very least some form of bodily harm should not be considered allowable. This person in my opinion did cross the line in a fault of expressing the inexpressible. Think it....just don't tell anyone what you are thinking!

Should he be suspended from his job for his off-work blogging activities? If we change the names to protect the innocent, can't the story still be told?

If I announced I hated my job, my boss, my co-workers and wanted to quit (throw myself and them off the roof).....could I be fired? If I review a restaurant and call the chef's food a concoction of crap, could he sue me? If I write a review of a concert by a well-known artist and call his music overindulgent and ear piercingly painful, could they hunt me down and demand I write a retraction (on my tiny little blog that no one reads)?

The right to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in International human rights law. Freedom of speech is stated as "the right to hold opinions without interference. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression" Furthermore freedom of speech is recognized in European, inter-American and African regional human rights law.

What do you think? Perhaps I won't be writing about my job or anything that goes on between the hour of 8-5 in the near future.