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Bloggers Should Not Take Free Speech For Granted

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There are few things people agree on in the Blogosphere. In fact the debate and discourse are arguably the most compelling thing about the Blogosphere. Anyone can say just about anything they want and they can say it without fear of prosecution and in most cases for free.

Well not everyone. Per the BBC Today:

More bloggers than ever face arrest for exposing human rights abuses or criticising governments, says a report.

In 2007 three times as many people were arrested for blogging about political issues than in 2006, it revealed.

More than half of all the arrests since 2003 have been made in China, Egypt and Iran, said the report.

It goes on:

Arrested bloggers exposed corruption in government, abuse of human rights or suppression of protests. They criticised public policies and took political figures to task.

More than half of all the arrests since 2003 have been made in China, Egypt and Iran, said the report.

For instance, it said the Committee to Protect Bloggers has published information about 344 people arrested in Burma – many of whom are thought to be be bloggers – but the WIA could not verify all the reports.

It also noted that many nations, perhaps as many as 30, imposed technological restrictions on what people can do online. In nations such as China this made it difficult for people to use a blog as a means of protest.

This report doesn’t mention even mention the severe free speech restrictions in Canada and most of Western Europe.  The next time you find yourself ranting about your congressman, senator, or local mayor; The next time you do a Google search for “human rights abuses in China” thank your lucky stars that you are free to do so.

More than that be mindful of your responsibility to maintain those freedoms for all of us and use a power that we as citizens have never had before in all of human history to help spread these freedoms to bloggers in countries like China, Burma, Iran, and Egypt.

 

Rick is the CEO & Co-Founder of BlogWorld & New Media Expo. He lives in Canyon Lake with his wife and two dogs Abby and Thor.


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