This topic has been in the back of my mind for a while, and tonight something triggered it to the forefront.
My question is: can the mainstream media effectively silence the freedom of the internet?
Last night's O’Reilly Factor had Bill decrying the freedom of the internet, once again. He says that the internet gives socially reprehensible
groups such as pedophiles an avenue to spread their sick views, and provides them with support groups from like-minded people. Something they never
had in the past, and it works to make their actions less reprehensible and more socially acceptable.
I say “once again", because in the past, he has decried the effect of the “blogs” on political elections.
Now what he says is absolutely true. Twenty five years ago, a pedophile had to live his/her life in the solitary agony of their own mind. Now, with
the click of a button, they can be connected with others that think the same way. The fear is that, because of the internet capability, their behavior
will become viewed as “more normal” than it ever was before.
My fear is that attitudes like this might possibly spur knee-jerk legislation to stifle the freedom we enjoy on the net. I am not advocating any
socially reprehensible groups here. I am worried about the possibility of losing the wonderful freedom we now enjoy on the internet.
It would be
easy to point out the slippery slope that any legislation would initiate. What would be next on the list to stifle? The first amendment?
To his credit, O’Reilly has done some great advocacy work in the past, such as exposing incompetent judges and promoting the passage of Jessica’s
Law. But he has a very strong view against the unbridled freedom of the internet, and he has a lot of viewers.
Am I alone in this thinking, or do others see the potential danger here?
Here's a pointer to a summary of the talking points and the accompanying video: