The so called dot com boom, also known as the web revolution, gave us a new form of media which goes by its popular moniker “Social Media.” People all over the globe reveled in this new find, which gave them the freedom to express their thoughts and ideas to the world like never before.
This gave birth to a phenomenon called “Blogging.” The “freedom of expression” had found another champion promoting its cause. One could post anything under the sun on the net for all who cared, no restrictions. It seemed like the “Holy Grail” for budding writers and casual line droppers, or is it?
I came across an article on the TechCrunch written by Erick Schonfeld titled “Blogging Is Not A Crime.” Apparently he had come across data which said that the number of bloggers incarcerated has been on an increasing trend.
A majority of those bloggers were arrested by their respective governments. It seems that the certain governments couldn’t resist tracking and censoring blogs. Curbing the basic right to one’s freedom of expression seemed to be their favorite pastime.
But the following sentence from Eric’s article caught my eye:
“As blogging expands internationally, so do the risk of speaking one’s mind. (Something many of us take for granted).”
The comment in brackets “Something many of us take for granted” really jolted me out of my senses and I started to do some soul searching. I am lucky to have been born in a country wherein the right to freedom expression is considered as a birth right. Somehow it has been inoculated in my mind that freedom of expression is something we should take for granted.
Don’t we have the right to take the freedom of expression or speaking one’s mind, for granted? For another perspective, see my article on Mass Media And Its Responsibilities.
Yes. People living in countries governed by oppressive governments do not enjoy this valuable right to expression. Keeping that in mind, those who do take it for granted, should utilize it properly; try and become the voice of all those unknown voice-less people living in such countries. We should spread awareness and highlight the issues affecting them.
Social media along with mass media can reach out to mind blowing number of people in a very short amount of time. With this kind of power in hand, we can address a lot of issues. But then again will it really happen, especially in this age of monetization and every given opportunity on the web. Will people still be interested in reading the plight of less fortunate one’s suffering from oppressive regimes. Even if they do, can we bring about a change?
At least we can try. They say it’s foolish to live on hope and build on dreams. But I believe I can. But I can’t do it alone. I am willing to provide the spark. I need you to convert the spark into a raging fire.