It seems that the longer we’re around, the more our freedoms shrink. As it stands today, the freedom to emit a single sentence to people willing to read it can get you in severe trouble as some unfortunate fellows found out.
One of those was joking around with his friends about blowing up an airport whereas the other was venting his frustration over a radio phone-in saying how the journalist should be stoned to death. Both of them are currently without jobs and in serious trouble.
In the “airport case” Judge Jacqueline Davis rejected Paul Chambers’ appeal because of “the context of times we live in”. The judge found that such a context made the message “obviously menacing”, although many twitter users strongly disagree.
All this brought about a heated debate about the limits of free speech on Web 2.0. While some argue that the cases are simple misunderstandings of concepts like sarcasm, others claim that the legal ramifications of such actions are many, regardless of whether it’s serious or not.
We must admit that it’s a bit scary where the “freedom of speech” is heading, as it’s increasingly more like a short rulebook of speech instead of an actual freedom.