Policeman loses his job for liking and sharing on Facebook
Chief Inspector Steven Drew, of Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s specials was accused of sharing and liking ‘explicitly racist’ material on Facebook and was dismissed from the force in December 2016.
His offense was “liking” a Facebook page called “Ban Islam and Sharia Law” and the page of the Britain First political party.
He also shared a post telling people who don’t stand for the national anthem to ‘go back to the country you came from’ and a picture which was captioned: “Isn’t it weird in Britain our flag offends so many people but our benefits don’t.”
He was accused and dismissed for racism, but as Islam is a religion and not a race, he is really only guilty of religious intolerance.
The right to express an opinion
The fact is, regardless of if you agree or disagree with his opinions, he only expressed displeasure with the attitude of some migrants and an opinion about the direction his country is taking.
None of the opinions he expressed were against the law, and probably would not have raised an eyebrow even a decade ago.
So what as changed to make it a basis for dismissal now? Some would argue that public opinion has changed, while other see it as more to do with trying to shape public opinion using coercion.
Either way, he is just another victim of political correctness, and one of a growing number that are discovering the hard way that we really do not have free speech today.
The politically correct thought police are waiting to pounce.
Anyone that holds any sort of government or corporate position, belongs to a civic organization or holds any other position of authority needs to be especially aware that everything they express on their private social media channels maybe be subject to scrutiny.
As a consequence an increasing number of people today feel they can’t express their true feelings on a range of topics for fear of public ostracism, or far more serious repercussions, as was the case with Steven Drew.
Is creating and using a fake online profile the answer?
More and more people are creating fake online profiles believing they can then safely participate in online discussions and express opinions without fear that they might jeopardize a position they hold, or result in them losing their job.
It may seem easy to just create a fake account, but to do so without a basic understanding of how to protect your online anonymity, you run the risk of your real identity being exposed by someone who is internet savvy.
It is also increasingly likely that your fake account will be found and closed by Social networks that have policies against people having multiple accounts.
Online Alter-ego Project
Online Alter-ego is a project to create an online guide to help people create and safely operate a second online identity or persona providing anonymity so you can safely participate online.
If you would like a FREE copy of this guide then register at Online Alter-Ego and you will receive access as soon as its ready.
About the Author
Christopher is an IT specialist with 30 years of experience in developing technology working with corporates and SME’s. Chris is a Microsoft Certified System Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, as well as numerous certificate based qualifications in technology and application development.