WWW, October 2009 - Sometimes, the Dubroom is criticized for having banned people from the Message Boards because of what they call is an infringement of their "right to freedom of speech". Does this right enable anyone to say anything on any site, and whose right is it anyway?
A declaration of rights....
Freedom of Speech is one of the foundations for the free flow of information and exchange of ideas. This freedom is a right, some say that it is even a right which is given to people by the Creator. A right so important, that even those who are against it will still make use of it (see photo).
It is this freedom, which enables sites like the Dubroom to be exactly what they are: expressions of the Freedom of Speech by the webmasters and editors of said sites.
The Dubroom is quite clear and obvious in it's goal: the independent promotion of (DUB) Reggae and Consciousness. For this, music is reviewed, things are researched and reported upon, musical works are released, et cetera. Everything is published on a server, several weblogs and on a Message Board.
Nothing could be published without existence of the Dubroom Webmaster's Right to Freedom of Speech.
Communication is a must and so there are several ways to communicate with the Dubroom Webmaster and/or other readers/visitors. There's a contact page, from where people can give feedback over e-mail. On the weblogs, there are options to post comments and then there are the Dubroom Messageboards, where people can register and post their opinions on the several fora.
This is where "Freedom of Speech" of the readers/visitors on the Dubroom comes into the picture. Should any one be able to say anything? Should the KKK be allowed and spread their white supremacy stuff, too?
A site like the Dubroom does not only attract visitors and readers who are interested or in agreement with the bulk of what's written. There are those who are in more than strong disagreement with some stuff they find on the website. Some would even love to see the site go completely off-line!
Obviously, these people have -just like yours truly- their right to Freedom of Speech: we all should be able to express our ideas without having to fear for getting arrested by the police and taken to Guantanamo Bay. The only question is: where should that freedom be expressed? Should everyone be able to say everything on the Dubroom, because of their right to Freedom of Speech?
A very interesting question, which this article attempts to answer.
First of all: what is the Right to Freedom of Speech anyway? Even though there are many -legal- definitions, you could say it basically is the right to go into the public domain and say your opinion.
This opinion could be, for example, that (DUB) Reggae is the best music there is because of the music and connection with what is called in that musical culture as Consciousness, and that this should be promoted. This opinion has caused the Dubroom to come into existence, this opinion is expressed in the public domain that is the Internet. It is the Right to Freedom of Speech of the Dubroom's webmaster which caused this site to come into existence.
Now, there are people who would perhaps say that Hard Rock is the best music in the world. Even stronger: there are people who hate (DUB) Reggae and would do anything in their power to destroy the music. On top of that, it is an offense to many people, that within Reggae Culture there are multitudes who believe in the Creator and call Him by His Name Jah.
All these people have the Right to Freedom of Speech, but do they have get the space for that on the Dubroom? Is it an infringement on their Freedom of Speech when they cannot post that speech on the Dubroom's fora and comment pages?
The answer is very simple: no!
The Freedom of Speech is in the very public domain where you can find all the different websites that there are: in Cyberspace itself. The Dubroom is one voice in that public domain, just one out of many voices all saying different things about just about everything.
There are websites aimed at helping people building their own cars, there are websites where certain religions are promoted, there are websites where racists spread their dung, et cetera et cetera. All these sites are voices of people expressing their Speech in Freedom.
Since the Dubroom is the Freedom of Speech of it's Webmaster, expressing the opinion that (DUB) Reggae and Consciousness should be promoted, it would be an infringement of this Freedom when others would register themselves and start doing the exact opposite of what the Dubroom stands for. It would be like they would step into someone else's mouth and start to speak and then call that "free speech", instead of just using their own mouth.
And so, there are some basic conditions when it comes to being able to post on the Dubroom Message Boards or leaving comments on the weblogs.
Actually, there is just one condition.
That condition is, that you must agree that (DUB) Reggae and/or Consciousness (preferably both) should be promoted.
When you disagree with that, because for example you just want to use Reggae Music to get your religion across but you really hate the music or you basically love to hate everything to do with JAH, then you should not post a thing on the Dubroom. You should express your right by creating your own website where you state you want to fight Reggae and Consciousness, and write about the Dubroom on that website. The Dubroom might write about your site, too...
Throughout the years, the Dubroom was confronted with situations resulting ultimately in a ban of persons who turned out to not have the promotion of (DUB) Reggae and/or Consciousness in mind. They would not be genuinely interested in the topics but had to get their message across, a message totally opposite of what the Dubroom stands for.
Every time, such a ban would be described by these persons as "infringements" on their "freedom of speech" on other Message Boards. A total non-argument, because they can express their Speech on other websites, they can even make their own website or weblog, they do not need the Dubroom to be able to express their Freedom of Speech, so there is something else going on.
Something which has nothing to do with Freedom of Speech.
What they really mean is that they want to post on the Dubroom specifically. They're angry that they cannot post the same things on the Dubroom as they post on other websites. For some reason, they want to post on the Dubroom. That reason is usually, that they hate what this site and it's webmaster stands for: the promotion of (DUB) Reggae and Consciousness, preferably both.
For as long as Jah lets it happen, the Dubroom will continue to independently promote (DUB) Reggae and Consciousness. As long as the Dubroom will promote (DUB) Reggae and Consciousness, there will be people hating the site for it.
It's their right to hate, it's not their right to try and shut down the Dubroom or change it because they happen to disagree with the opinion of the Dubroom webmaster. For that would be an infringement of the Right to Freedom of Speech of that Dubroom webmaster.
One Love, Give Thanks,
Messian Dread (Dubroom Webmaster)