Freedom of Speech

Hi firstly I, the BFM, wishes to express my deepest condolences with those family and friends of the bereaved in Paris. I would also like to strongly condemn this cruel and savage attack.

Freedom of Speech (FOS) it has been suggested by the mass media has been attacked. What is FOS and should it be censored or policed, more pertinently should it cause offence and marginalise a particular group?

This is at the heart of why this dastardly attack took place because a Satirical publication appeared to have drawn cartoons poking fun at Mohammed. If one calls black people the “N” word, or Indian people the “P” word in the media then they are called racist, their work is not aired and they may be prosecuted yet this has openly happened in the past and only recently changed as it is deemed incorrect.This is an example of how FOS is being censored/ policed. If people write/draw about gay people, disabled people etc again this is also deemed wrong and those that do this are chastised, again FOS is curtailed.

If people write or draw or say irreverent things about Jesus or Mary then Protestants and Catholics are offended , against Jews then they are offended, against Hindus,Sikhs and Muslims then they are offended, BUT nothing is done to curtail this, irrespective of how these groups may feel.

So on one hand the media and civil rights groups are saying there should be FOS and it should not be censred/policed, on the other hand it is being policed and censored (as explained above) and with libel and slander laws. There seems to be a bit of hypocrisy here.

As a writers/reviewers and media personnel we do have influential powers eg bad posts/reviews on certain websites can detrimentally and irreversibly harm people’s livelihoods, yet this is deemed FOS. I agree we should be able to say,write or draw but not at the expense of hurting, ridiculing or marginalising individuals or groups of individuals. There should be a little decorum, respect and humbleness shown by the media.

On a lighter note eat, drink and be merry. Life is too short to spend it bickering and fighting and arguing. My next post later today will be about a great new eating concept that’s recently opened in Belfast!!

Once again the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao 4 now!!
The BelfastFoodMan
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