Tag Archives: civil rights

London vs LA: Arrest Those Photographers!

-by Nerdface-

I’ve always had an idea that London was, well, a bit fascist.  Cameras everywhere, cops everywhere, checkpoints—or did I just watch V for Vendetta a few too many times?  Or maybe it was reading about kettling.  Who knows.

Regardless, I recently saw this video.  If it’s too long for you, skip through it a bit—you’ll get the gist.

And I thought, pssh, London.

And then I saw this.  After a recent incident, the Long Beach chief of police confirmed it is their policy to detain photographers taking photos with ‘no apparent aesthetic value’.  Which, of course, the police are well-trained and able to determine.  Oh wait.

And then I cried.

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When is your right to free speech abrogated?

-by Nerdface-

I think most people would agree that riding a train shouldn’t mean you’re giving up your right to free speech.  However, there are many instances where ‘freedom of speech’ goes only so far and no further.

Example: you work at a corporation with a strict social media/blogging policy that forbids you to discuss your job or the company outside of approved communication.  Or, you don’t, but they decide your blog is “inappropriate” anyway.  Or your Facebook comments.

Example: you post online that some people “deserve to be killed” and that you advocate using “FORCE AND VIOLENCE” against specific individuals, along with those individuals’ personal information.

Example: you work as an assistant state attorney general, and decide to start a very strange, personal campaign against a college student.  (Technically Shirvell wasn’t fired for exercising his freedom of speech, but the implications are worth considering.)

So what do you think?

Should your employer be allowed to fire you for writing about your job online?  How about writing anonymously about your job online?

Anyone who has spent much time reading commentary/discussion on the internet (example: youtube comments) knows just how much incendiary, violent, abusive language is out there.  When, if ever, should that lead to criminal charges and jail time?  How much should context be taken into account—and who should decide context?

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