Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Free Speech and Profanity

What has happened to the way we speak and present ourselves lately online? I participate on a number of online forums and social media sites. I have noticed an increase in the use and the common acceptance of profanity and vulgarity on many sites.

As a moderator on two construction related forums, I hear (see) a lot of good natured conversations with an occasional profane word thrown in for emphasis and it really does not bother me. In both forums, there are private (members only) and public sections. For the most part, the members in the public sections show restraint, and in the private areas, not so much! But that is ok, because in the private areas, you know what to expect, as contractors can be an “expressive” group! 

What about the public areas? Should they be censored? Should anyone be allowed to use language that others may find objectionable? Many members have their business name visible, does it matter to them that a potential customer might find their post? Do people really worry anymore on how they appear? Does it make it a difference if it is “in context” or “gratuitous”?  I don’t know?

This morning, I asked a member of a forum to remove the words bitch and jackass from a signature line (this appears in every post they make, sometimes a personal statement or opinion, most often a link to their own site). I was astounded by the response I received. I was accused of violating his Right to Free Speech! I had not asked him to edit his political opinion, only remove the two words. Was I being a prude? Is that oppression?

I did some googling and found some interesting articles like these:

Why do Educated People use bad words?

South Carolina Considers Law That Would Criminalize Profanity In Public Forums

Youtube patron outraged over profanity filter

What’s up with all the profanity?

It seems there is a lot of controversy on this subject! Maybe I am just an old lady who still believes in good manners?

What do you think?

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