By Kate Daitano
Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right of a citizen especially in a democratic country like the Philippines, for example. The ability to express opinion and to speak freely is essential to bring about change in the society. And in this modern generation, social media as an avenue for exercising this right is rampant. Question is, is social media really helping or hurting our freedom of expression?
As for my stance of the latter, social media helps the people in their exercise of rights, in general. The common ground, I must say, when netizens are already stepping out of the line is the issue on “irresponsibility”. Cyberbullying, hate speech, racism, fake news and toxic blabbing of rants are just some examples. All of these things hinder the netizens to actually take responsibility in the exercise of their rights.
On the other hand, social media is helping people exercise their freedom of expression in a broader spectrum. People get updates on the current trends and issues in our society which concerns the government and the country, as a whole. Social media enables people to express their opinions over important matters and issues and most importantly, in acquiring new information and ideas that will broaden their knowledge which could be beneficial to humanity, in the long run.
There is a fine line between freedom and peoples’ rights. This is a reminder for netizens not to be passive about sensitivity and the responsibilities enveloped with the right to freely express one’s ideas, thoughts and opinions.
(Kate Daitano, a freshman student in AB Political Science of Foundation University, was among the three panelists during the 2nd edition of Foundation Dialogue with the topic, “Free Speech and Social Media held last July 16 at the Sofia Soller Sinco Hall.)