Don’t Knock It! Free Speech Is A Great Thing

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

There has been a burgeoning of social media sites in Mann in recent years (even the CL Mannin Branch eventually entered the fray on Facebook and Twitter) and it has been no bad thing.

While social media has not replaced mainstream media (yet) it is a useful adjunct to it.

In other jurisdictions there have on occasions been controversies about abuse of social media sites particularly in relation to political attacks on opponents.

However in the comparatively ‘tepid’ world of Manx politics that has not been an issue.

Following a recent series of by-elections for the House of Keys on the Isle of Man one Facebook site had to take down an article which commented on a candidate. No problem with that if it was over the top – the site in question can be acerbic at times so perhaps it had overstepped the mark.

Problem of course is that if an item is removed from one site is can pop-up elsewhere and that’s just what happened. However this is where it got interesting because the article in question was not over the top, certainly in terms of (in this case) post election comment.

So why was it pulled? Presumably Facebook saw sufficient grounds in the complaint to take action. If that is true well it doesn’t augur well for the future.

Let’s be clear I’m not arguing abuse is justified in any circumstances, but in the context of political or social comment occasionally (if the commentator[s] feels strongly about it) you are going to get comment that is pejorative.

If organisations throw themselves into the public arena sometimes they are going to get ‘singed’. In such instances it’s better to ‘bite back’ than call for a ban.

Free speech is a great thing. You only have to look at countries like China (yes the new friends the Chief Minister has found for us) to realise that!

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

28/05/15

(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.

The Celtic League was established in 1961 and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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