I'm not trying to limit free speech. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with depictions of Muhammad. You have every right to your opinion. But what is lost in the message is that this has nothing to do with freedom of speech. The First Amendment does not give you a blanket right to say whatever you want, wherever you want, whenever you want. But that's not even relevant. What is relevant is that this was a page on the Facebook site, a privately owned and operated company. Censoring their own website is not a violation of free speech. If you don't like the company's regulations, go somewhere else! I still may not agree with your form of protest, but I stand by your rights within what freedom of speech actually is (and not what one may think it is).
We invoke "freedom of speech" only when it suits us, often without knowing what it really means, and that's just wrong. I do believe that standing up for your rights - even when misguided - is better than inaction, because freedom of speech is important, but there needs to be a line drawn somewhere.
I'm going to say it again: this has nothing to do with freedom of speech or expression. This is people looking for an excuse to be bigoted while hiding under the guise of free speech.
- You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
- You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
Draw Muhammad Day isn't about us standing up against terrorists. It isn't even about standing up against Islamic fundamentalists. It's about blatant bigotry. I'd venture to say most (if not close to all) people who participated did so out of pure hatred and with complete ignorance. This certainly violates Facebook's terms.
Fighting hateful behavior with more hateful behavior is sophomoric. While I really wish I could be defending free speech here, there has to be a point where I draw the line. If Draw Muhammad Day was a peaceful, public demonstration where people where drawing the prophet hugging pandas and sniffing roses, this post would be quite different. Unfortunately, that's not the case. People where being intentionally hurtful on a publicly-accessible, corporate-owned website. Facebook did the right thing.
The real stupid thing here is the idea that she should not be free to say what she wants.
I think this is a case of "it depends." I think, for one, we need to come to a consensus on what sort of privacy you should be able to expect on a social networking site. Should you consider it private communication or public? And even if it is private, there are certain situations where it doesn't matter. If you work for the public and say or do something - in private or not - which puts into question your integrity or ability to perform your job, you should have no expectation of privacy unless that privacy is protected by law (e.g., attorney-client privilege). This counts doubly if you intentionally friend your boss or another employee and still post such comments.
On the other hand, for example, if your boss was trawling the Web and finds your comments because Facebook has poor privacy practices, you communication should be protected.
That said, we should expect the same from Facebook. It is our data after all, and Facebook has no business if it has no users. They should warn users well in advance of any changes that may affect privacy and provide clear tools to edit how our data is (or isn't) used. By default, security setting should be more restrictive. I shouldn't have to worry about my friends' privacy settings. I shouldn't have to worry about personally identifying information being leaked without my permission. In these respects, Facebook has failed miserably and it is not something that we should simply accept for the sake of innovation.
Maybe that's because the Web != the Internet? I know that the Web represents most of the active time many people spend on the Internet, but really? When did the two become synonymous?