The internet has given us many avenues to express our thoughts and make them available for public consumption. From the various blog sites available (livejournal, blogspot, wordpress) to 140 character updates on twitter, popular amongst celebrities and politicians, to posting videos on youtube – information can now be passed on to the masses more quickly than ever. However, I fear that many people, unfortunately many who belong to my own generation, do not realize that with the freedom to publish any thoughts we may have at the very moment they occur to us means we also must deal with those consequences. One such example of publishing without any forethought is of a young UCLA student who posted a video on YouTube performing racist impressions of her fellow Asian students. Stating: “I swear they’re going through their whole phone book, checking on everybody with this tsunami thing.” The student in question is now under review and may face punishment for her actions if she is found to be in violation of the UCLA University Code of Conduct, all because she posted a three minute video online.
Please note that this post is not intended to pardon the UCLA student of her actions, merely point out that publishing, especially online content, may have unforeseen consequences.