What is Shawn Murphy thinking?

His suggestion that anonymous internet comments be banned has people seething

Whether you agree with Liberal MP Shawn Murphy or not on anonymous or signed comments on the internet, what was he thinking when he stirred up this firestorm?

“That’s not going to fly,” said one Gen Y person over the weekend.

That opinion represents the consensus with the voting public from 18 years old to 40 years old, the Gen X’ers and Gen Y who have been raised on the Internet. They are not likely to yield their life style to some “old” politician.

Where has Murphy been to say that over the past several months comments have been nastier? Right off the bat he is telegraphing the audience – I don’t get it. I don’t understand the Internet I just signed on.
The internet has always had a nasty side. If you give people a chance to vent their opinions, they will. While it sometimes seems crazy and carried away, the genie of free speech (free expression in Canada) is out of the bottle and not going back.
Here are some of the 1,200 comments on CBC in response to Shawn Murphy.
“MPs think it’s right and proper to protect THEIR privacy by refusing to let us know what they are spending our tax dollars on, claiming vociferously that their expense accounts aren’t our business.”  OUCH
“I have been appalled by Shawn Murphy before and I am appalled yet again.”
“I would if Mr. Murphy whose brother owns Tim Hortons in PEI. Would Mr. Murphy go to bat for say someone who posts a negative comment on CBC about Tim Hortons. Would Mp Murphy go to bat for that person should they ever apply for a job at Tim Hortons and are not hired. “
“Getting THEM, controlling THEM, and cutting THEM out of discussions has alway been the trait of tyrants, militarists and dictators.”
“I wonder what other rights the Liberal Party of Canada wants to remove if this Liberal MP gets waway with the right to online privacey being removed.

Maybe the right to free speech with be niext or the right to free public assembly?”

“Better yet, vote out MP Murphy the next go round !”
“In short, he wants the ability to sue in order to control spin. Spoken like a politician. I think Mr. Murophy had best pay more attention to what people truly think when they are given the opportunity to express their opinions anonymously, rather than try to suppress it.”
“Now Shawn has to got to. I’m wondering why Reporters can hide their sources, but sources can keep anominity without going to a Reporter.  This is simply Shawn trying to supress “free speech”. “
I can’t think of a logical reason a politician would want to alienate so many voters when his logic is ill-formed and is outside current legal judgments.
We can’t repeat all the arguments, discussion and comments which is actually quite interesting for the most part. I am amazed that some people confuse freedom of expression with “nasty and irresponsible” talk. Free speech can be very uncomfortable.
We removed the introduction CBC gave Shawn Murphy in his interview since they claim he called some comments “potentially illegal.”  He didn’t use those words in the interview. You can watch the whole interview here. The video excerpt is copyrighted by CBC News.
We have also not spell checked the comments. Spelling mistakes can be expected since most people don’t have a browser spell checker nor does CBC on their site.
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network
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