I and my office are taking a break from social media. It might be for a few weeks. It might be for longer. It might be permanent. We will be evaluating how best to communicate with the broader community.
I am calling this pause because of the appalling abuse, most of it from anonymous cowards, polluting what could and should be one of humanity’s triumphs, the ability for the majority of people to follow and participate in the most important market there is – the free market for ideas.
The term `social media’ is misleading. Perhaps a better description is ‘open media’. All who post – and those who incite and host them – are subject to defamation and other laws against malice and harm. With the right to freedom of expression come legal and moral responsibilities.
Open Media can be a wonderful crucible of creativity and civilisation, of genuine progress. But it can also be a cesspit of bastardry, where people for some reason write things they would never say to someone’s face.
It can be a waste of time, with staff removing obscenities, harassment, and bullying, in the interests of decency, promoting proper debate and protecting people from having to read vile inanities.
One such example is the recent conviction in Queensland of a man called John James Wilson who threatened on Facebook to shave my head and drag me “up the street naked’’ if I supported proposed COVID-19 laws. The charge was using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.
You’ll be hearing from us, in courteous and respectful ways as we continue to advocate for the public interest and personal liberty.