Friday, October 19, 2012

Free Speech and All That

The guy who was the biggest troll on Reddit has been outed.  An abuser par excellence, he finds himself hoisted by his own petard.  Folks like this seem confused--free speech means free of consequences, right?  No, not right.  The 1st Amendment and all that stuff applies to government restrictions against speech--that government should not abridge speech with some notable exceptions. 

Ah, but if you are an asshole and people find out that you are an asshole, well, then they can shun you.  I am not sure they can fire you from your job, but that depends on the contract, doesn't it?  If one used employer resources, such as the employer's network, to be the troll, then it sucks to be you....  So, live by the hateful rants and you may find yourself outed and then facing a heap of wrath. 

I think many people are now enjoying something more than mere schadenfreude today... righteous indignation and satisfaction for what goes around comes around?

The internet is a net boon, no doubt, but the ability of people to post anonymously has been most challenging.  Yes, it can facilitate whistle-blowing, but it also gives people the chance to commit significant harm yet deny responsibility.  They can view their trolling as a game until they get caught.  So, all I can really say about this one guy is--about time.

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