Social Media and Free Speech
|The article discusses the potential consequences of free speech, and being critical of it A series of events involving a local liberal blogger, a San Francisco conservative radio station and the reaction of two of the larger corporate advertisers in the country -- Bank of America and MasterCard -- is revealing how slippery freedom of speech has become in the digital age. For the past year, the blogger Spocko has been e-mailing advertisers of KSFO-AM with audio clips from its shows and asking sponsors to examine what they're supporting.
Some sponsors have pulled their ads, after hearing clips like one of KSFO's Lee Rodgers suggesting that a protester be "stomped to death right there. Just stomp their bleeping guts out." Now, bloggers and media freedom advocates are concerned about the legal reaction from Disney/ABC-owned KSFO. Shortly before Christmas, an ABC lawyer demanded that Spocko remove audio clips from his blog on the grounds that Spocko's posting of KSFO content was illegal.
Digital freedom advocates counter that the clips constitute fair use and worry that critical voices could be silenced by corporations threatening legal action for violation of copyright law. After receiving an e-mail from Spocko's group last spring about the station's content, KSFO advertiser Bank of America reviewed other programming on the station.
Eventually, the corporation pulled its advertising after hearing material it felt was polarizing. MasterCard, which received similar e-mails about KSFO's programming, also decided not to advertise again on Sussman's show.
|WHAT WORKED: IT HAPPENED IN A DEMOCRATIC AND OPEN SOCIETY WHERE PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED TO VOICE THEIR OPINIONS, AND BE CRITICAL OF WHAT OTHERS SAY. IT ALSO TOOK A SKILLED COMMUNICATIONS PROFESSIONAL TO PERFORM THE TASK.|
|Location:||San Francisco, USA|
|Extent of Action:||Local|
|Issues:||Corporate/Economic Abuses, Other|
|Source:||San Francisco Chronicle|
|Prepared By:||JG, 09/13|