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Education needed on media freedoms

July 11, 2019 3:27 PM
By Dr Peter Hirst in Congleton Chronicle

Dear Sir,

Concerning your article on page eight of last week's Chronicle on freedom of expression, media freedoms and the dangers of certain online content, the issue seems to be around education as well as protections.

If we assume that we want maximum freedom of expression, as I do, we must design our society around educating everyone, especially the vulnerable about the dangers and what they can do to minimise the risk.

We must create a culture where society is geared to preventing the adverse effects of online content and to mitigate unwanted exposure.

This means our educational system and the charities, public services and other agencies that deal with society are sensitive to the effects of harm from online content and use their resources to protect, counsel and act to prevent and protect from these possibilities.

At the extreme, it is important for the interfaces such as social media outlets to commit resources to taking down dangerous and offensive content or restricting its viewing.

In the end, if we want a free society, that is vitally important in this era of fast-changing events, and for people to be free to express their views, then it must understand the risks and manage them effectively.

Yours faithfully,