The post about the Belgian blogger being fired from a NY bar after having criticized the Belgian Minister of Defense, made Sigrid wonder whether a blogger can just shout out about anything and whether freedom of speech comes with responsibility.
Whatever you think of a blogger, she’s human.
She’s for real.
And one day, she openly decided to share her view on life with the rest of the world knowing that that makes them vulnerable.
Now more than a billion pair of eyes can see how she gets it right, or wrong.
More than a billion different perceptions can challenge hers.
That’s a risk she is willing to take.
And it’s the most couragious and the smartest thing you can do.
Go and tell the world about how you see life. Have the world challenge your views and ideas.
Live and learn.
And if you happen to disagree with her, tell her personally.
That’s the respect you owe her for being so openly human.
That’s the respect you owe her for being superbly human.
Whatever you feel like doing: don’t try to shut her up. Don’t have others to try her shut up.
Don’t deny her the fact that she allowed the world to see how human she is prepared to be.
“Freedom of speech is not just a right but a responsibility as well. Bloggers are responsable for what they write. If you want to start writing the ‘big stories’, you better make sure you can defend your story because some of ‘the big guys’ are bound to come after you.” Sigrid writes.
I couldn’t agree and disagree more.
Of course we’re responsible for what we’re saying. But what does responsibility mean?
It means that my opinion can be challenged and if supported with facts that are undeniable that I have to accept that I was wrong.
It means you accept the fact that there will be a respons, that you accept a conversation from person to person, that you’re willing to listen and to learn.
But that kind of responsibility for the freedom of speech works both ways.
You don’t use the freedom of speech as an excuse to intimidate people who wronged you.
Responsibility also means that you respect human integrity.
If the big guys come after you with big guns then that’s anything but being responsible.