The Mouse and the Megaphone

Imagine yourself walking through a public square which carries about 1,000 people. Megaphone in hand, you make a racist statement. What would happen? Except for the possibility of immediate physical aggression, you can make a parallel of this in the internet on social networking time. Among the 1,000 people, somewhat was angry, as much ignored, and the other portion passed the message forward. Difficult to know the total number of people who ended up getting the message, but it was enough for the Justice into action.

And who thinks that does not give anything, went wrong. Recently, a law student who said on Twitter that the Northeast were rubbish and should be drowned was processed.

Now companies are warning employees who position themselves on the social networks regarding controversial issues such as Slutwalk, Marijuana, Freedom of Expression, the naked cyclists … Anything that breaks decorum in the view of managers. Even on politicians of questionable conduct. Last week, it happened to an acquaintance of mine. The Facebook it is personal, but an opinion expressed about a recently dismissed minister cost him a warning of the multinational where he works.

Overkill? Maybe yes maybe no.

He never spoke much about freedom of expression. Some people do not like black or gay, and marijuana users who say they are constrained when manifest their ideas.

In fact, we are free to say what we want. However, we live in a rule of law, and it is precisely to maintain a free and healthy society, valuing mutual respect, there is the Criminal Code. Your opinion is not restricted, once you know do it without running the risk of inciting hatred or to apologize for prohibited substances.

It can, for example, be in favor of decriminalization of marijuana without apology. See former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. But, in social networks, there are those who do not measure the power of words and think you’re in a bar table. The worst that can happen after telling a racist joke is someone feel bad joke. In social networks do not work like that – this is the mistake many novice Internet users.

No, even if you have 4 or 5 followers on Twitter, you’re not a bar table. Or rather, it may even be, but it would be the equivalent of climbing on the table with a megaphone in hand. Anyone can access your profile and read your posts. In the background, or the Messenger is safe: although IM conversations are private, they can be accessed in the future by court injunction. As telephone conversations.

In the corporate environment, it is even more delicate. No need to apologize explicitly a crime to be fired for cause. Just position yourself on any news controversy. But the metaphor of the bullhorn still applies. You circulate through the halls of your company telling some truths to anyone who will listen? More liberal corporations and other more conservative, but in both a public outburst may bring unpleasant consequences.

If you still think that the internet is no man’s land, you need to review your concepts. You can open blogs and profiles using pseudonyms to offend others or incite crime. But nobody will ever be anonymous. Who out of the line can be easily tracked, and when you reach the final destination, the author will have to answer for their actions. Just as you would if you were in the public square carrying a megaphone … Only using a burka!

 

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