The internet has provided us with a great opportunity for a social and cultural revolution. As bloggers, we have access to the largest platform of free speech in history.
As bloggers, we often talk about writing with passion and creating great content. More than anything, we want to share our voice. Many times, this can involve writing about common topics. There are also times that writing requires great courage. Recent times have provided many examples of the internet providing a venue for the common good.
The Courage of the Internet
Of course, we are all aware of the protests going on all around the world over the failing world economy. These last few weeks have shown moments of the government striking back.
Just think where we would have all been without the internet. The government could quietly suppress the peaceful protesters and quiet their voices. These events would quietly be hushed away.
Just last week, a police officer blatantly pepper sprayed a group of students at UC Davis who were sitting on the ground with their arms linked. The day afterwards, the police chief of UC Davis issued a statement in explanation for the use of force:
Police said the officers were trying to get out of the protest area when they used the pepper spray.
UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza told reporters Saturday that the decision to use the pepper spray was made at the scene. “The students had encircled the officers,” she said. “They needed to exit. They were looking to leave but were unable to get out.”
In times past, this explanation would have sufficed to explain the officer’s actions and the incident would be forgotten. However, the balance of power has shifted to the internet and to the bloggers who are willing to write and report the truth of the events.
Almost immediately, images and videos of the actual incident go viral, showing that the students did not surround the officers. In fact, the officer who did the pepper spraying stepped over the sitting students to get in position to perform the pepper spraying. He then holds his pepper spray can aloft in contempt before walking down the line of sitting students, casually spraying them in the face.
These stories keep this news alive and stirs the public to action. At this time, the officers have been placed on leave and the University is investigating their actions. There has been a public outcry for the resignation of the Chancellor.
Bloggers for Good
But for the internet and bloggers keeping this story out in the public eye, these rogue officers would have buried their actions behind fabricated statements and police reports.
Sometimes people get disillusioned with the internet. They see piracy abounding and ads popping up everywhere. At times, it seems that viral news tends to be gossip that only harms reputation. Then people latch on to these negative aspects of the internet and it gives rise to discussion about censoring the internet.
The reality is that the internet and we as bloggers can also do good things. Reporting on events and ensuring that the public stays aware of the world around them. Keeping alive a story of police and government repression that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. These are the types of discussions that needs to remain alive.
As bloggers, we need to stay passionate about blogging. We need to stand strong against internet censorship. Our passions and our writing help keep the freedom of the internet alive.
Perhaps this isn’t the type of story that you expected to find in a blog about money talk.
Sometimes, in any business we can get caught up in the concept of making money. However, the business of blogging has a unique role because we are in the business of information. When it comes down to it, blogging is all about free speech. Blogging is about the ability to reach other people and build a connection. This means all kinds of blogging.
Keeping the freedom of the internet alive is key to the survival of blogging.
Most of the time, on this blog and other similar blogs, we talk about search engine optimization, back linking from other blogs, writing fresh and new content. We need to keep in mind that without a free internet and freedom of speech on the internet, these things mean nothing.
So, keep blogging. Stay passionate. Stay courageous.
Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.