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  • Maria B.

    What worries me is that there is censorship in social media. For example a Greek athlete was expelled for a silly comment. I am affraid that the future won’t be so “free” and “democratic”…

    Your translation is correct but it refers to the Africans in Athens not the athletes in the Olympic Games. When she posted the comment it was announced that the Greek Health Organisation had found the Mosquito of the Nile in Athens. So she made a silly joke that the African Mosquito of the Nile will find enough Africans in Athens to bite, so homefood…! Her comment had nothing to do with the African athletes but with the large number of Africans in Athens.

    She tweeted only the comment that you translated not any other exlpanations. Her comment was just silly, like any stupid comment we can make when chatting with friends; but the decision to exclude her for the Olympic Games was too much.I am really worried about “censorship” in Social Media… 

    • Biohelixx

      Respectfully, I’m not sure censorship is the right term… after all, the producers of ‘Gone With the Wind’ were fined in 1939 for Clark Gable’s use of the word damn in what is now an iconic line (and notably absent from both the script and the book), “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

      Rules and acceptable behaviours change over time. Would it be censorship if her tweet had been overtly racist, angry, inflammatory and coming from a place of hate?

      Nevertheless, regarding your point of expulsion from Games going too far, one can make a compelling case that the athlete was a representative on the world stage for her nation and people, and whether she meant it as a joke between friends or not, it was nevertheless ‘uttered’ in the public sphere.

      I’m sure if another public figure had made such a comment, no matter where they were and the timing, they would also be condemned. Whether Olympic athletes like it or not, they, like celebrities, are under constant scrutiny, both at home and abroad, and considered a reflection of their home culture.

      Once something is online, you can never completely take it back, and like it or not, as part of their success, these athletes have surrendered some of their privacy in the quest to be the best. The line between the public and private spheres grows ever fainter, and may yet disappear altogether.

      Fair? Maybe not, but that is the reality of the times we live in – the age of the 24-hour global newscycle.

      • http://commetrics.com/articles/what-they-do-not-teach-you-at-lady-gaga-university/ Urs E. Gattiker

        Dear @472cc5e0dcbb2e9d850d8321ad6627dc:disqus 

        Thanks for your comment and reply to Maria.  If I interpret your comment correctly you suggest that the issue is not if it was just or unjust not letting Voula Papachristou compete in the Olympics …..

        Your reasoning seems to say:  If you are in the limelight, whatever you do will have to withstand public scrutiny.  Something polliticans, celebrities and sports stars need to consider before they utter anything on any type of Social Media channel (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, blog post, etc.).

        I appreciate you taking the time to reply Melanie, thanks so much and I look forward to your next comment. Merci.

        • Maria B.

          Thanks for your comments.

          You are right that the line between public and private shperes grows fainter and may disappear.
          But this is exactly what worries me about Social Media and their use. Anything could be misinterpeted not only for people in limelight but for anybody and lead to any sort of consequence..

          So are we allowed to express our opinion in public? and to what extent? are there limitations? what are the limitations?

          All this has to do with what we call democracy and what we mean by that.

          I am not so sure that we can freely express what we think in Social media without the risk of losing our job or getting a fine for using inappropiate language..

          Have a nice weekend!

        • http://commetrics.com/articles/what-they-do-not-teach-you-at-lady-gaga-university/ Urs E. Gattiker

          @32e7e729a56a57abc3c966b2e35765e3:disqus Thanks for replying back again. Yes I am not sure how @472cc5e0dcbb2e9d850d8321ad6627dc:disqus will reply but here are my five cents on this issue.

          I believe we were never able to use Social Media freely – same as with e-mail.  Whatever becomes a digital file will eventually be seen by somebody that might not be your friend.  In turn, it could be used against you.

          My philosophy is
          Before you do anything (i.e. text, send an e-mail, post a snapshot) could this possibly become an  embarrassment or hurt your career or job prospects down the line? 
          Also, might your partner, children, grand-mother, boss not be amused  when they see the message, snapshot or tweet?  If the answer is no, don’t do it

          Maria, thanks for sharing.

    • http://commetrics.com/articles/what-they-do-not-teach-you-at-lady-gaga-university/ Urs E. Gattiker

      Dear @32e7e729a56a57abc3c966b2e35765e3:disqus 

      Thanks so much for your input on this one. I agree with your comments but have some thoughts I would like to add.

      I think that some people probably felt that her tweet was inappropriate as far as Africans were concerned and illegal immigrants in Athens in particular. Of course, one can now discuss if the text was inappropriate or not. 

      But beside appropriateness or not….. if it was inappropriate should she because of this not have a chance to compete in London?  That seems highly inappropriate or too harsh in my opinion. She trained a lot for this big event and now some bureaucrats decide that she should be punished. No recourse, nothing.  Incidentally, did she break any Greek laws?  Probably not and even if she did, we are all not guilty until proven otherwise.

      So you see, we pretty much agree on this one that the punishment was too harsh and an apology would probably have been enough.

      Maria, I look forward to your next comment.

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