We live in a world where everything has shades of gray, where little is simply black or white. There are exceptions to every rule. So when Southern Illinois University higher-ups decided to start deleting negative comments on the school’s Facebook page concerning their ongoing labor issues, some people disagreed with it and some people thought it was the right move.
For what seems like the billionth time, the Facebook conundrum has reared its head and broken into daily conversation. Should officials delete what they see as controversial? Should the freedom of speech cover students who comment on someone’s wall?
That’s not my concern. The real issue is that we have created something that has become so strong and powerful that it really has the chance to change this nation.
Want to spread a movement from coast to coast? Start a Facebook page for your individual city and allow people to connect that way. Have a band that is playing at an obscure location? Create a Facebook event, invite everyone you know, and hope for the best.
Facebook has been connecting the people or a while now, but its power has just recently been tapped. Few things have ever carried so much potential. Everyone can connect, everyone can be on the same page.
The Facebook debate shouldn’t be marred by the few people who are not mature enough to participate in it. Inappropriate comments, whatever, they don’t belong. But the free exchange of ideas and opinions do.
The nation is a marketplace of intellect. Everyone gets heard. Every person can have a platform. One vote really can make a difference. Public debate is a good thing.
I am glad that whether the university was wrong or right, the debate is still going on. I am happy that people are going to Facebook to express themselves. That’s the American spirit. The scariest part isn’t how fiery and opinionated the conversation can get, it’s the prospect of what could happen if people stop talking.
Contact Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652.