Facebook & Twitter Stalking: Court Orders May Apply!

You think life could never get more complicated then you read a news headline that goes something like this: Stalkers could be banned from Facebook and Twitter in major crackdown on harassment. In other words, there are talks about applying certain existing laws to limit stalkers from targeting their victims through social networking sites.

The Threat is Huge!

“Stalking is pernicious and can affect anyone regardless of their walk of life. It has a devastating impact on the lives of those who become victims.” Nazir Afzal, the CPS community liaison director responsible for stalking and harassment crimes.

Apparently, and after the many threats which seem to be brought to us by social media, someone put there foot down and said: The law must be applied to those virtual yet living networks! Prosecutors should issue restraining orders that “meet the particular risks presented in each case” and there “should not be a repetition of routine clauses”.

Facebook Twitter Monitoring by US Government 2009 [video]

Using the Internet could cost you your freedom!” American man claims after being accused of organizing demonstrations with the help of social media channels.

This is just one incident out of many out there which we have heard or read about and even frowned upon sometimes; incidents where freedoms were simply confiscated and people were prosecuted just for having an opinion and sharing it with others!

Although this story is almost a month old, I still find it very crucial to talk about it further due to its heavy weight and the implications and questions it poses. Day after day, it seems to me that personal freedom is being slipped from underneath our feet by the second and whatever we plan to say out loud and in public, we should revise hundreds of times before we actually sound it!

Is this the shape of our future?

I am a believer in law and the judicial system and I hail their need and praise their efficiency in catching and prosecuting those who pose an eminent threat to society yet I’m also a firm believer in human rights which encompass the right to freedom of thought and freedom of speech.

Thus, the questions that we need to ask ourselves here are the following: Within an open platform such as social media, how can we really draw the line between the “right” to sound an opinion as opposed to the “felony” of breaking the law? How can we regulate the use of social media without actually taking away the freedoms which many NGOs call for and promote?

Looking forward to reading your thoughts about this topic.

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