Thursday, September 25, 2003

Your blog and the First Amendment

Bloggers are pretty much free to say whatever they want to say (with a few exceptions). However, the issue gets murky when the blogger is an employee of an institution and the blog is carried on the institution's server. Take Eric Rasmusen's blog, for example. He is a professor who does not believe that it's a good idea to hire homosexual teachers. Once his statements on the subject came to the attention of the University who employs Professor Rasmusen because of mention in another popular blog, the Volokh Conspiracy, things started to get hot.

The university had to decide what to do in light of all the publicity and controversy. Do they make him take down his blog? Do they make him move his blog to a different server where there is no connection to the university? The line that caused the most problem was Rasmusen's observation that hiring gay teachers "puts the fox into the chickencoop." However you happen to feel about the comment, certain groups immediately responded that the comment was "hurtful." If you don't know what that buzzword has come to mean in today's thinkspeak society, it means that you have treaded in an area that is verboten and you must now prepare for the consequences of speaking your mind. The controversy continues.