Outrageous headlines. Unbelievable claims. Photoshopped pictures. All published in hopes of gaining attention, making money and/or other.
And it works.
Sensationalism can silence people, too.
Look at these headlines:
- Student Photojournalists Arrested; What Are Their Rights?
- Governments Increasingly Targeting Twitter Users for Expressing Their Opinion
- Marine Facing Discharge for Criticizing Obama on Facebook Says He’s Only Guilty of ‘Being an American’
- Oregon Church Sues Ex-Members Over Online Criticism
Julie continues to blog about her experience.
- Andrew Breitbart Dead: Conservative Blogger Dies Suddenly At 43
He is quoted as saying, “I do what I do because the mainstream media chooses not to do it.” (His blog/website lives on.)
Some might see these titles, read the articles and say to themselves, “They have more guts than I do.”
But, is it lack of guts?
Or is it fear that stops us?
Even though we know we can exercise freedom of speech: our first amendment right, if we hear of or experience an injustice, many don’t.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Instead of practicing freedom of speech, some wait for others speak up. Carry the torch, so to speak.
After all, WE certainly don’t want to be labeled as a radical thinker, an activist, whistle blower or end up with OUR name on some list.
Instead, we just shut up and silently complain how “that’s just not right”, or believe one lone voice cannot make a difference.
When that happens, the bad guys win.
Just as they had planned.
All because they knew they could instill fear in (most of) us.
Do you fear posting your viewpoints online, especially if they could be viewed as controversial?
Or do you speak freely, not worrying about what others think? Not concerned about the consequences or the backlash?
Care to share?