About privacy, and free speech. I think about both of these a lot considering the two cultures I now both call home. America, of course, is all about the free speech – we can say what we want, and screw you if you don’t like it! Here in the UK, folks are a bit more reticent, private; they’re definitely opinionated, but I think that old saw about good fences and neighbors might be a bit apt.
As some are aware, there’s a huge row here at current about the whole super-injunction thing. Of course, as the BBC pointed out in the past week, it just isn’t going to happen Stateside. There’s the obvious fact that free speech is protected fiercely by Americans and our Constitution, and the fact that it’s not quite so easy to sue as it is here. However, I get why super-injuctions happen here – people are too damned nosy. As Carl Gardner points out over at headoflegal.com in Breaching so-called “superinjunctions” on Twitter: is this how low we’ve sunk? – people deserve privacy irregardless of who they are; this is fact. People shouldn’t be so hounded and harassed that they feel their only recourse to a ‘normal’ life is to pay out to force the media off their backs. It will be interesting to see how things pan out in the wake of all of this.
As for us, the Average Joes? I tend to believe in operating under the premise that you should carefully vet every.single.thing you say and put out into the world. You never know when an off-handed exclamation of exasperation will come back to bite you in the ass, or as we’ve seen increasingly – how your youthful hijinxs suddenly make you a less hire-able job candidate because of that one time that you passed out drunk at a party and someone drew a penis on your face. And especially as most of us are on Facebook with their janky and always-changing privacy settings – I found a new-to-me tickybox to uncheck this morning ((groan)). It’s ’Let friends of people tagged in my photos and posts see them.’ on the so-called Privacy page, if you want at it! My husband also found a grayed out one that reads:
Suggest photos of me to friends This is not yet available to you.
When photos look like me, suggest my name
Suffices to say, we are impressed not.
And as I’ve lost track of thought because of buttery noodly goodness (Mmm, on a noodle jag!), I’m going to go enjoy my lunch and maybe try to pick up the thoughts on this some other time. Have a good day, and a good Eurovision semi-final tonight!