Sunday, October 20, 2013

Watch out - What next?

Came across this article on the NPR news online.  I know some find NPR suspect, but online they have some good articles.

The article in question concerns credit card companies cutting off doing business with certain controversial sites; maybe they have "hate" speech or "adult" content, for example.  In my opinion, the article weighed a little too much toward the fellow who was advocating the companies do just that; I would have liked just a bit more from critics of this practice.

Now I'm  the LAST person who would condone hate speech. I believe in boycotts if you don't support something.  But I feel that people should be free to visit sites and buy goods - certainly as long as all was legal. I'm troubled by this practice, however, because it can have a really chilling on free speech.  Also, these companies don't have consistent policies.  One critic says policies are vague and they've had sites shut down that were completely legal.  I would encourage you all to read the article and to also read the comments.  I find myself more in tune with a commenter (EBrittingham) who asks if allowing a few powerful businesses such command over our financial transactions (which are increasingly online and/or by credit/debit card) is wise. 

Freedom isn't easy. Freedom of Speech and Expression can be very hard when we don't like the speech.  But we must not take the "easy" way and erode our liberties slowly.  I think another commenter posted what if the next site/organization/business these card companies want to part company with is one which you support.  That's the danger few seem to want to face. 

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