Free speech has a long history. Long enough that we know the pitfalls so well that they have nicknames.
There’s Milton’s Curse to describe the tendency for emerging leaders to defend free speech, only to walk backward once they are in power. More recently, we added the Streisand Effect, nicknamed after Barbara Streisand’s failed 2003 attempt to keep photos of her Malibu home off the internet. Her failed resistance generated far more attention.
This long, fragile and volatile path for free speech is the focus of the new book Free Speech A History from Socrates to Social Media by Jacob Mchangama. It is thorough, important and enjoyable. I recommend it. Below are my notes for my future research purposes.
Continue reading FREE SPEECH: its history and future by Jacob Mchangama
I seem to recall seeing some petty ugly things written on Domeights, the online forum for the Philadelphia police community that was shut down by its owner after the threat of legal action.
Of course, I also remember a lot of mundane content, jokes, commentary and other arcane back-and-forth that is the staple of most Web message boards. But that’s not going to be the subject.
The site, which is operated by city police sergeant but is unaffiliated with the department, caught heat following another public display of racial infighting in one of the country’s largest municipal law enforcement agencies. The Guardian Civic League, an organized group of black police officers, is calling for the removal of the site and has named a host of individuals, in addition to the police force and the city in a law suit.
Continue reading Closing @Domelights: Of course squelching racist police babble is wrong