For this week’s discussion, I chose the article by Greenblatt, which follows the freedom of speech and how other countries and organizations are calling for the exile of free-speech protections. They believe that those who offend religions, promote hate, and participate in blasphemy, should be held accountable for voicing these opinions that can be viewed all over the world (Greenblatt, 2013). The freedom of speech is one of our basic rights given to us through the Constitution and has been held in high regard until recently. The freedom of press has even had backlash in areas such as Turkey and Pakistan, where journalists are being arrested and attacked by mobs; many are killed (Greenblatt, 2013). The rise of social media and the internet made it so a person from one part of the world can message someone from another but it can also cause a breech in security; which is another concern for countries. Twitter and Facebook are social media sites where people can express their views freely but with the rise of restrictions, countries such as France are calling for the identities of people posting hate speech and racist remarks.
One example of a civil liberties violation is when three members of a Russian rock band were arrested and found guilty of hooliganism. After a performance they “called for the Virgin Mary to protect Russia against Vladimir Putin” (Greenblatt, 2013). They said this in front of a lot of people but were punished because they spoke out against the president.
I may not agree with comments people make on Facebook and Twitter but it is their right to be an activist or to promote hate. I don’t have to like it or even accept it, but if the civil liberty of free speech is taken away, everything in the media, papers, and social media will be censored down to every word. Expression is our fundamental right. Someone can say cruel things about Christians or Muslims but that does not mean that they should be charged for it. One man stated “We don’t defend Hedegaard’s views but do defend his right to speak. He can say what he wants” (Greenblatt, 2013). This man was not condoning what this other man was saying but they accept his right to express himself; that he deserves to have that right. While I understand why there is a push for religious-sensibility laws or those involving blasphemy, people have a right to express their opinions, even if they go against our own moral codes of ethics.
If I were to fight for a cause, I would want to know that what I say would not be used against me. Public administrators will face many issues in regards to the protection of civil liberties but must also have a balance of responsibilities. There can be compromise but one side should not take precedence over the other. Twitter and Facebook want people from all over the world to use their sites but what happens if a particular post(s) offends them? Do they just address that offending post or do they come up with some type of anti-hate rule for that site; but then wouldn’t that violate their freedom of speech? Cooper (2012) stated that public administrators are responsible for understanding what citizens want and be able to work in the interest of the public (p.74). While, public administrators must adhere to the public, they also must follow their superiors and the rules and regulations of their perspective organizations. A balance between a company’s responsibilities and an individual’s own responsibilities should be made. Civil liberties are in place to protect the rights of the public and freedom of speech is one of those rights. It should be used in that context and not taken in from someone just because their particular opinion was met with offense or disgust. One exception I would make is if it brought physical harm to a person or a group of people. Some liberties may have to be given up in the fight for the protection of all society but freedom of speech will not be one of them.
Respond to the bold paragraph ABOVE by using one of the option below… in APA format with At least two reference…..
· Offer and support an opinion from having read your colleagues’ postings about the responsibilities of public administrators who face ethical dilemmas.
· Expand on your colleagues’ postings by synthesizing information and offering alternatives.
· If you are more familiar with life in a nation outside of the United States, explain how a public administrator in that country or region might respond ethically.