Facebook grows a set.

‘Facebook is a place where people can express their views and discuss things in an open way as they can and do in many other places, and as such we sometimes find people discussing topics others may find distasteful, however that is not a reason in itself to stop a debate from happening.”

Good for them but it’s funny, isn’t it? Sometimes companies like Facebook find it easy enough to get all worked up about free speech and tell governments to stuff off, and I’m right alongside them when they do. But the same companies will freak out and cave in when confronted by a small number of complaints from misogynists, prudes and tittyphobes who object to photos of slightly too anatomically correct dolls or new mothers breastfeeding their babies. This might make sense if most of the whiners were paying to book their faces, but it’s a free service so what are they losing if the tittyphobes all sod off somewhere else?

Personally I carry no brief for Raoul Moat or anyone else who goes around shooting unarmed people in revenge for perceived wrongs, and I’m generally inclined to support the police when they’re not harassing innocent photographers and chasing victimless crimes that help the clear up rates but are in reality, as the Guide says, mostly harmless. But I accept that not everyone will be of the same opinion and they have as much right to express their thoughts as I do mine. Equally I feel that photographs of breastfeeding mothers can occupy a spectrum from yawn inducing cack that only their family members will be interested in all the way to moving and beautiful (and in keeping with the H2G2 theme I really don’t give a pair of foetid dingo kidneys about nipples on dolls). Why can’t the tittyphobes and prudes take the same attitude and either stop whining about images that offend them (and almost nobody else) or stop fucking looking at them? For that matter, why can’t the Elder Twin start living up to some of these ideals about freedom he espouses from time to time?

Freedom, as I’ve said before, tends to be pretty black and white, and freedom of speech is no exception. You are free to say what you think or you are not – it’s that fucking simple. You are certainly free to say that something someone else has said offends you but that doesn’t give you the right to shut them up. It’s at the top of the page: there is no right not to be offended. If you can’t deal with that without demanding other people’s freedom is restricted to suit you and your tastes I’d suggest you go live in a cave somewhere where you can’t see or hear the rest of the world not agreeing with you. That goes double if you’re a tittyphobe and treble if you’re a politician sucking up to tabloid readers.

Posted on July 15, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Facebook grows a set..

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