Sunday, November 12, 2006

What is free speech ?

From Wiki:

Freedom of speech is enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is granted formal recognition by the laws of most nations. Nonetheless the degree to which the right is upheld in practice varies greatly from one nation to another. In many nations in the developing world strict censorship is enforced, while even among liberal democracies there are different approaches to issues such as hate speech, obscenity and defamation laws.”

“In law, defamation is a right of action for communicating statements that may harm an individual's reputation or character. The common law origins of defamation lie in the torts of slander (harmful statement in a transitory form, especially speech) and libel (harmful statement in a fixed medium, especially writing but also a picture, sign, or electronic broadcast), each of which gives a common law right of action”

“UK laws on defamation are also considered among the strictest in the Western world, imposing a high burden of proof on the defendant”

A TN blogger recently posted in French, in his public space the following:

"Comparer les transferts des expatriés aux IDE équivaut a comparer un chiffre quelconque a "zéro" :)"

« Il est extrêmement rare pour un tunisien installé a l'étranger (après avoir usé et abusé de tous les systèmes sociaux gratuits qu'offre la Tunisie) de faire un transfert vers le pays. Les gens font de leur mieux pour garder leurs devises. On a ruiné cette nation et son contribuable. On les a RUINES. »

This is NOT free speech; this is a defamatory and demeaning statement against half a million hard working Tunisians expatriates and second generation dual citizens. Besides such statement has not been accompanied by any proof whatsoever; instead the author chose to brush off repeated counter arguments.

I cherish free speech, but not at my expense and the expense of a greater community at large. So please Mr. TN Blogger, be mindful and considerate of the others, when you write such statements in your public space.