Joe Lieberman wants a Terrorist Button on blogs

Posted by on March 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm.

Because Google has put a flagging opportunity for viewers on YouTube to “flag” a video for inappropriate content (violent acts, hate mongering and how-to-make-a-bomb videos), Senator Lieberman has written Google CEO Larry Page suggesting that a Terrorist Button be placed on Blogger sites to help us flag inappropriate content on Blogger blogs.

My concerns here are related to the fact that this is such a great way for someone to cause a blog owner problems for reasons other than terrorist acts. A competitor doesn’t like another business – flag ’em as a terrorist. Once things settle down, the situation will probably sort itself out – but at the expense of the flagged business. Cheap retaliation for those with a lack of conscience.

And why just Blogger? There are lots of other public places one can express themselves. There are so many blogging outlets, the proposed button would have to be placed at the browser level to give the viewers a quick and easy way of talking to the government about inappropriate content.

Do we want the government policing blogs through out readers like Senator Lieberman suggests? Do we want to worry about being mistaken for a terrorist because our last boyfriend is really pissed off? Or because a disgruntled employee is taking out her revenge?

I am someone who believes in the best of everyone. I think that people do the best they can with what they have even though sometimes they might look less than stellar in their actions. And I believe that I have the right to express an opinion without the fear of reprisal from those who may not agree. Granted, I’m not planning to overthrow my government. I’m no threat to anyone. But I do work with clients who are suffering from reputation damage online because someone is posting negativity online about them.

It is an awful experience when you are being attacked for no other reason that unfair competition. One of my clients finally gave up and closed down their business to restart under another name with a different business model.

I support free speech in almost every situation. I do draw the line at overtly harmful material posted online, anywhere by anyone. I don’t feel that an opinion is off-limits, but when the comments arouse the audience to harm to others, not acceptable.

When all is said and done, I think Senator Lieberman is being naive to think that a button to flag terrorist content on Blogger will do much to help stop terrorism. We stop terrorism at levels way higher than Blogger.

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