What kind of web site has enough power and influence to end a politician’s career or start a unified movement against oppressing governments in the Middle East? Undoubtedly, Twitter has managed to establish itself as one of the most powerful tools of freedom of expression with 140 characters or less.
But shouldn’t there be regulations? That’s the best part, nothing is off limits. However, people should be ready to deal with whatever results after their use of social media.
A British footballer from Manchester United tried to prevent his extra marital affair from being exposed with a super injuction. Thus the press couldn’t reveal his name but that didn’t stop 75,ooo individuals from tweeting his name in a trending topic. Consequently, ordered another court order in British High Court to demand Twitter reveal the identities of users who had posted the tweets but that’s where legal system’s reach ends. This is the Internet, any source of informatio is available to any user and at their disposal.
Trying to police the public from posting the truth or facts about a certain matter is virtually impossible and even an infringement on free expression. You can not censor it.
After Rep. Anthony Weiner posted shameful photos of himself on his Twitter account, much controversy and pressure from the media followed with his resignation soon afterwards. Twitter allows the right to post whatever you want even at your own risk. Thus Weiner’s resignation was his own doing but I’d never have guessed it would come as a result of social-networking.
Social media also serves as a vehicle for people to voicebtheir grievances and protests against oppression. This has also been an increasing trend in Facebook and Twitter in parts of the Middle East. During the revolutions in Egypt and the uprising of people against President Gaddafi in Libya, governments cut access to internet in an attempt to censor activists. However freedom of speech would not be denied. The need for social media rose to 155 million tweets a day on Twitter. “Hacktivists” looked for alternative ways to bypass the government shutdown to access the internet and still voice their protests on Facebook or Twitter.
As a result, their story has been told worldwide through themedia, world leaders President Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton have pleaded with these governments to stop censoring their own people and people have become more aware of the struggles in the Middle East. Because of that social media should be as free as ever, without regulations to allow people to express whatever they want- whatever the consequences.