Free Speech

The first reading addresses the issue many countries in the Middle East are facing with their government and how social media affects this. The web site article mentions how many bloggers would much rather be activists through social media platforms than becoming journalist. Bloggers mention if they were to become journals it would take away the freedom to say what they want and would hinder their ability to push boundaries. They see journalist as simply “reporting” what is going on which takes away from using specific street language or event starting movements. The internet platform is a very important tool for example, bloggers in Tunisia posted testimonials videos of former political figures that ended up in prison. These videos allow movements to spark and help people see what really is happening in their country. The article also discusses how the government will prohibit the use of certain cites because they know how impactful they can be and fear the power they can have.

The second reading is about Bassel Khartabil who developed a free software which granted access to the internet to help his country start free culture movements. He wanted people to be able to “gain new tools to express themselves and communicate.” In Syria the internet is censored and Bassel went against the law so he was detained. Like his friend Joi Ito says, ” It is a reminder that community members do work that is dangerous.” I think it is important to see how far people will go to be able to do the right things even though it is seen as wrong through the governments eyes. The more I learn about other countries the more I see how truly free we are in America. Imagine living somewhere where they censor something we use everyday, for example, like Facebook?

Free Speech

2 thoughts on “Free Speech

  1. caitlintaracohen says:

    I like that you emphasized that the bloggers considered careers in journalism but instead prefer online platforms for activism instead. There are many inherent risks that come with being a journalist who reports on issues regarding human rights violations in countries with corrupt governments, and these issues are not necessarily applicable to bloggers who use anonymous personas in order to promote their movements.


  2. ipalacio23 says:

    Your last sentence of the blog is very true. We take for granted the social media that we have today compared to Syria’s lack of online infrastructure that doesn’t allow to fully use the Internet to its fullest potential. Still, Bassel risked his own life by creating the Creative Commons so he can bring an open internet to Syria, and like you pointed out, he went that far just to bring an important tool to his people. I hope Creative Commons continues to grow as it has globally and it gives the Syrian people a more powerful voice.


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