I have the right to laugh at what I want!

In this day and age, with all the surveillance and NSA stuff going on it is surprising that on cyberspace we really don’t have a governing body. We as a community consider ourselves self-governed and self-moderated, however, since we have been more open and posting stuff online we have gotten some posts that are considered Not Safe For Work (NSFW). My question is: what makes it acceptable to post this sort of content online even with the constant surveillance online?

We seem to live 2 lives online; we have the more public and open side of ourselves, that is, what we want our employers to see, then there is this very private side where people post stuff to places like 4chan and r/I’mgoingtohellforthis. These sites, let’s face it, have some pretty dangerous material on them and if a future employer saw that you are a poster to said forums then you might never get a job again. This is why the separation of public lives and private lives online is very handy to have. People have recently gotten in a lot of trouble for posting to forums like these by authority figures they didn’t know were watching them online.

“In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media. (Barlow, 1996)” Things like SOPA and PIPA have tried to come in and censor the internet, but they and many bills like them were shut down in their tracks time and time again. Some countries have succeeded in censoring their internet but there are always ways around this with proxies and the like. People will always find ways to find their NSFW material that they like to look at.

Reference List:

Barlow, J.P. (1996) A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Dravos Switzerland, <https://projects.eff.org/~barlow/Declaration-Final.html>

Image sourced from http://i.qkme.me/353hwh.jpg

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2 Responses to I have the right to laugh at what I want!

  1. youfoundbec says:

    Awesome post, once again. While I do agree that internet censorship from government agencies is counter productive I do wonder why people would feel the need to post things as controversial and distasteful as some of the NSFW post’s I’ve seen. Nevertheless, yes, you do deserve to look at that stuff if that’s what takes your fancy and I find the whole idea of an employer judging a potential employee off one or two questionable comments or posts ridiculous. No one’s perfect after all.

  2. I spent way too long on the subreddit you posted, but I shouldn’t really be saying that. A great question you posted at the beginning of your article to make readers think for the whole post. I’m sure you are just as glad as I am about SOPA, etc. getting shutdown as quickly as they are but there will be that one day when the internet dies. Just hopefully make it not in my lifetime.

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