Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Politics of Dinosaur Dung

I was reading the Globe and Mail this morning and I came across the plight of blogger Penny Cholmondeley, now of lovely Victoria, BC.

Fellow bloggers, there is a travesty afoot here.

Penny, who was living up north working in the tourism industry, described in her blog her experiences with the northern culture and landscape. She never once talked about her job or mentioned her employer, but she was honest with her opinion, like when she once said she didn't like a resturant she went to, and once used an artful picture of some trash on the tundra in a post. Mostly though, she illustrated her blog with beautiful pictures and positive words about her experience.

She was still on probation at work when her employer saw her blog and she was fired. They cited only disatisfaction with her blog.

Her personal journal.

Now, not only are blogs personal online sites that people visit of their own free accord, they are mostly descriptions of someone's life experience and the opinions that are formed from living that. Unless you are openly trashing someone (and breaking the laws regarding libel/slander) or breaking already agreed upon rules (like not giving away business secrets) then it all falls into freedom of speech and expression.

And I think those freedoms are important.

I am concerned that, if nothing is done, bloggers will face continued discrimination from employers who think they they own and/or have control of all aspects of a bloggers life. As far as I know, in Canada, you are allowed to have and express an opinion that differs from that of your employer. Even if it is completely contrary to your employer's opinion, and especially if you are expressing that opinion during your personal time.

I think this is worth defining and fighting for, not only for a specific number of Canadian bloggers, but really for all Canadians, because if we let some of our rights erode than pretty soon we won't notice that they are all gone.


See also:

Blogger fired for Blogging (includes the email address of the person who fired Penny)
Polar Penny (Ghost of a Flea)

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