Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Alberta, calgary, calgary herald, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, charter, Facebook, Facebook features, facebook page, Freedom of speech, Hell, judge, leader post, post, reprimand, Student, university, University of Calgary
I’ve been hearing a lot about the importance of maintaining a presentable online persona, and perhaps you have too. We’ve all heard stories of how online gossip can get you on bad terms with your boss, or worse, out of a job. But have you heard about the backlash?
At the University of Calgary one student posted an online complaint. He was upset about a 65% he received from a teacher, so he accused her of laziness and inquired about how he could get a re-mark. His Facebook page stated, “I no longer fear Hell; I took a course with Aruna Mitra”. This landed him probation, along with the others who commented. Three years later, at a judicial ruling, the judge declared the disciplinary measures “excessive”, and no further action should be taken. In fact, it was the institution that was infringing upon the student’s charter rights when they punished them for their online critic. Woah, does this mean no one should be discriminated against for what they post online?
Like anything you say in real life, what you post will effect how people think of you. No matter how free you are to say what you want, there are always consequences to some degree. Perhaps authorities won’t be able to punish you directly, or take you to court, but there are other long-lasing repercussions. What this student has posted will be something he has to deal with forever. It might seem like the he was just trying to get a fair grade, but it sure came across as malicious. His Facebook page, along with his statements to the press, suggest that he wasn’t looking out for the good of himself, but the overthrow of the professor. Which he claims is for the betterment of students everywhere, but how well did he really know her? Was she just going through a hard time, having a bad day? The article mentions that she stopped instructing classes at UofC soon after.
Perhaps he succeeded in his ploy, but at what cost? He now has a certain reputation. He’s now one to be feared, and possibly avoided. But it was his right to say what he wanted. His right, maybe even his duty to bring about justice. To some his story might even be heroic. But perhaps the biggest consequence will be something he has yet to realize.
We all have the right to free speech, and the ability to tear others down. The right to post, and to ruin our own reputations. What should we do?
The article can be found here:
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