The time has come for an Internet Bill Of Rights
Alcoholics call it a moment of clarity. Oprah calls it an “ah-ha moment”.
Whatever you call it, a penny dropping is a wondrous thing, and yesterday amid the rabid brouhaha of Stephen Conroy’s Clean Feed catastrophe, I banked some vital coin.
Perhaps I’m slow, perhaps I’m a bit thick, but it wasn’t until reading the key findings of Catharine Lumby’s document on the proposed Internet filtering, that I realised I was operating under the false assumption that the web should be subjected to the same scrutiny as any other creative product.
Alas I was a fool and had overlooked an important point, the importance confirmed to me by it being written in italics.
The Internet is not a medium. It is a whole new media environment
You know what, the Lumbinator is right.
Though the Internet may contain films, it is not a movie.
Though it may contain articles, it is not a magazine.
The Internet is not a medium, it’s an environment. A delicate geekosystem.
And what this environment lacks in flora and fauna, it more than makes up for with people.
People like you and me. People like SexyJuggs48, Emoz4Life!!1, and @TheChadinator. Real people with real feelings, real lives, and who desire, nay, demand their basic human rights be met.
So my dear netizens, what I propose is an Online Constitution. An Internet Bill of Rights. We are many VOIP’d voices, all joined by the common thread of having access to a computer and the ability to use our fingers, and WE HAVE RIGHTS!
But where to begin? Who will stand and pledge their allegiance to this sacred domain of domains? You? Me?
Surely there is no better way to form this document of digital democracy than to carve it from the very values and behaviour displayed by all of you, our own living breathing keyboard mashing forefathers, since dot com immemorial. So God bless you all, and more importantly God bless the Internet.
The Internet Bill Of Rights
We the people, in Order to form a more Perfect Social Network, establish Blogs, insure Wireless Connections, provide for the common User, promote Goatse, and secure the Blessings of Online Anonymity to ourselves and to Google, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United Domains of the Internet.
The right to download
The right to download, like, SHITLOADS
The right to tell d00ds to STFU, and tell n00bs to RTFM
The right to assume no identity, or adopt a false one, yet still demand to be treated with integrity
The right to incite, inflame and insult others without fear of repercussion or social responsibility
The right to hate on idiots, and for idiots to hate on us back, like whatever
The right to take content without offering remuneration, and to argue the toss on the difference between downloads and theft as if it were some sort of existentialist conundrum or valiant political activism
The right to assume other people’s mothers are whores
The right to call every woman who isn’t a “perfect 10” a pig or a lezza who you wouldn’t sleep with, even though you’re a fat balding man in his late 40s
The right to stick captions on cats
The right to type LOL, even though nothing amusing has been written
The right to say to someone “your an idiot”, and fail to recognise the irony
The right to argue without clarity, knowledge, reason or respect, including the abstract construction of straw man arguments and ad hominem attacks
The right to call any argument you don’t fully understand an abstract construction of straw man arguments or ad hominem attack, whatever that means
The right to Photoshop and call it expression and not deception
The right to claim expert knowledge on foreign cultures just because you downloaded Google Earth
The right to be proven wrong and continue to argue the exact same point but in UPPER CAPS
The right to be a dick
The right to say “I’m not racist, but”, and then say something completely racist
The right to be offered an unsurpassed wealth of free content and services from the private sector, yet erupt with self-righteous indignation when said content and services are threatened to be taken from us
The right to be an expert on any topic, whether expertise exists or not
The right to fill the infinite void with banal musings about your cat/dog/kids
The right to take everything at face value, read only headlines, and call it “truth”
The right to Rickroll
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