Awaaz

Crushing the intellect: The war on free speech.

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Social media is an effective way for people like us to express themselves and tell the world what they think. Whether it is through a Facebook status, writing on Facebook timelines, Twitter updates, photos you share on these social networking websites- according to me these are all extensions of you and your personality. These posts and updates may help you portray your interests, your views and help show people who you are and how you think. These social networking sites offer a platform for you to be yourself, show a sense of individuality, to be creative, to be who you want to be and most importantly- have an audience for all of these interests and interests that you share with others.

Unlike in the real world, where social etiquette and manners can sometimes seem restrictive and limiting, people feel they have a greater sense of freedom of expression when using online social networks. As they say that,

“People don’t listen, that is why people write.”

Essentially, social media has changed the way we are able to communicate and behave in our daily life.

The Good

For people who find it difficult to interact with others in person, the Internet gives them a great way of communicating and not having to feel self-conscious about them. Everyone has a right to say what they think and feel and so this is a good way for those less confident to make their stand.   In addition, internet is called a ‘mass media’ for a reason- it reaches a broad audience. Whether it is personal or business, such as marketing, you can get your news out there. The power of the re-tweet or like buttons or Facebook shares should not be scowled at. This means that the story or a view of a shy individual can reach a larger audience than it might if they were stood up in front if you making this type of media particularly effective. Lastly, social media can help you be yourself and invoke confidence to those who need it. This is because you do not have to face personal and intimate criticism because you do not have to see anyone. Written comments can inspire healthy debate as you have time to compose yourself, whereas, people criticizing you in person can be difficult. Everyone deserves to have confidence in themselves and their beliefs, and networking can help inspire and educate people in this.

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But on the other hand, if we see the magnitude of freedom in Pakistan- we see that people are mocked when they raise their voices against something. In January, five Pakistani bloggers disappeared. All were known for their extensive use of social media, public criticism of religion and statements against censorship in the country. So I believe that above advantages should be considered when it comes to freedom of speech in Pakistan. This might make us more self-satisfied and teach us to accept other’s views. The truth is, the moral problems about freedom and expression in real life can now be applied to the virtual world. Whether we like it or not or even agree with it, it’s liberal enough to be good for people to express themselves and find themselves.

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