Is it Really Ok to Say What We Think Online?


photo by stev.ievia PhotoRee

In this modern world we celebrate the fact that we have freedom of speech. With the exception of libel and what not we can pretty much say what we like. If we have an opinion we can share it… or can we?

Social media is a wonderful thing however sometimes I find that we are prohibited from saying what we think because some fear the wrath of the masses. Over the past year there have been many news items of note that have been dissected across Twitter and Facebook especially. Amy Winehouse’s death, the London Riots, Strikes and more have been hot topics and debate is good. Debate is healthy. What is neither good nor healthy is being pulled apart, verbally (in text form) abused or heckled.

This year I have seen some unbelievable messages posted around the internet.  I’m unconcerned with the rights or wrongs of each news story but have been appalled at how people have been so willing to tear a person down for having an apposing view. Surely if you have internet access and a Twitter account you should (in theory) be mature enough to know that vicious name calling (to the extent of abusing people’s families too) and blatant bullying is unacceptable?!

I suspect a lot of it comes from the anonymity that being an internet user can provide. People seem quite happy to hide behind the avatar or profile picture when I’m sure they wouldn’t act the same way face to face.

Do we still have free speech? Really? To an extent we do but if the online society continues as it is, many will stop using their right to utilise it.

I’d be interested to hear what you think about this, is this not such a big issue? Is it just me who feels that this social censorship could very well get out of hand?

Claire Dunford Speaks… Social Media and Bloggers… ROCK!

The lovely Claire Dunford is a Social Media Consultant for BOTTLE, and blogs professionally at BOTTLE Uncorked and personally at Scratching That Creative Itch.  When she’s not working on social media campaigns or performing in local theatre productions, she’s often to be found nattering away on Twitter at @rainbowclaire and @BOTTLE_PR. Personally I think she is a little crazy, but in the best kind of way! Enjoy her post! Nicki x

When I was first asked to guest blog for Curly&Candid I had planned to pull together  a piece on the “Day In the Life of a PR.”   But when I was chatting with my friends after a hard week in the office I realized that listening to other people natter about their working day was actually just really dull.

You know the feeling.  Try as you might your interest slips, your mind wanders and slowly you start tuning out…

When I tell people that I’m a Social Media Consultant, their eyes light up.  Within seconds I’m bombarded with “Wow, you mean you actually get paid to be on Facebook,” or “So you can help me understand Twitter,” often followed by “I wish I had your job.”  But I know that if I went into the details of the competitions that I get to create or the profiles that I manage their shining eyes would start to glaze over.  No matter how interesting your job may seem to others, if you live and breathe a role 9 to 5, five days a week when you start talking about it, it won’t be long before you get bogged down in the details.

I’m so lucky I’m part of a really energetic and vibrant team at BOTTLE, but the very best thing about my job are the relationships that I get to build outside of the office.  I’m encouraged to read blogs, chat on Twitter and build relationships throughout the social web and to me that’s fantastic.  No matter how stressful my day has been , through blogging, I can always plunge head first into someone else’s life – laugh at their adventures, extend my sympathy during troubled times, or get involved in an active debate.

And to me that’s what really social media is all about.  It’s not about Klout scores or Wikio rankings (although those shiny badges are lovely), relationships are not something that can simply be boiled down into a statistic – although with my professional hat on they are fantastic for reporting back to clients.

Ultimately ‘interaction’ and ‘engagement’ are just the tip of tip of the iceberg.  The reason blogging is so great is that it allows everyday people a voice, you don’t need to be a trained journalist to write with passion and I’d no sooner instruct someone on how to fill in their diary than dictate what a blogger should write, or how they write it.

So I’d like to say thank you to all the bloggers that brighten my days.  Everyone is an individual, with a diverse range of blogs and styles – which is something to whole-heartedly celebrate.


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