Last week, a Call To Action made its way onto this blog. One of the results was that the Call To Action was successful. Another one of the results was that a handful of individuals decided that a Call To Action was terrorism, and that by extension, the author of a Call To Action was therefore a terrorist.
The fact of the matter is that media is social. Technology only makes information gathering faster and simpler. Technology has become the standard when it comes to interacting with strangers, acquaintances, colleagues, and friends.
What is oftentimes forgotten is that the world isn’t microchips and fiber optics. It’s people. And people along with their opinions and decisions drive their community, their nation, and the global economy overall.
When it comes to social media, however, it’s a virtual water cooler … the place where deals are made as well as the place where lots of interesting things can be heard and shared with varying degrees of reliability and facts.
The more successful you become in real life, the greater the problems online where spam, fakes, and haters are guaranteed to do anything they can to take you down. Some may even go as far as to refer to you as a terrorist if they dislike you for any number of reasons. Others may go as far as to attempt to threaten or intimidate you either publicly or privately.
Let’s take a look at the definition of what constitutes a terrorist activity in Canada.
According to Alexandra Dostal, terrorist activity is “committed for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause, to intimidate the public or compel a person or government to do or refrain from doing an act, with the intention to cause death or harm, endanger life, cause a serious risk to health and safety of the public, or interfere with an ‘essential’ service, facility, or system.” She also states that lawful advocacy, protest or dissent doesn’t fall under the definition of terrorist activity.
A Call To Action cannot be thought of — by any stretch of the imagination — as targeting defenseless civilians “with the intention to cause death or harm, endanger life, cause a serious risk to health and safety of the public, or interfere with an ‘essential’ service, facility, or system” when it falls within the parameters of what is legal and allowable in society.
An excellent book on the subject of terrorists and terrorism is “Anatomy of Terrorism” by D.E. Long (ISBN 0-02-919345-1) which was published in 1990. The author answers six basic questions regarding terrorism: what terrorism is, why people commit terrorist acts, what groups are engaged in terrorism, what their sources of support are, how terrorists plan and carry out their attacks, and how governments can organize to combat terrorism.
Conversely, a Call To Action Words that urges the reader, listener, or viewer of a message to take an immediate action such as writing or calling a politician, event organizer, sponsor, etc. to voice their opinion on a particular matter that involves the politician, event organizer, sponsor, etc., directly or indirectly — and which is perfectly legal — cannot be considered terrorism, nor is the person who issues the Call To Action a terrorist.
According to Sandra Bekhor, M.B.A., B.Sc., and President of Bekhor Management, she states specifically that:
“… people are more likely to follow through with a desired ‘action’ if it is specifically ‘called for.’ In the professional sector, the call to action is often a missed opportunity because it is misunderstood …”
And defending one’s self against a group of individuals who assist the primary bully in his or her bullying activities (including the bully’s assertion that the target is a terrorist for daring to blog a Call To Action), is not bullying. After all, the target of a cybermob has the legal right to defend himself or herself within the parameters of what the law will allow.
The last time Canadians peeked at the Canadian Constitution, the following freedoms were still listed:
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
If a Call To Action was indeed terrorism, and one who posts a Call To Action was indeed a terrorist for having posted a Call To Action, it would be clearly addressed in the Canadian Constitution.
What’s more, if a Call To Action was part of terrorist activity, it most assuredly wouldn’t be protected as a Human Right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or recognized in International human rights law. If you look it up, you’ll see that it states:
“[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference … “
” … everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”
There’s a world of difference between a difference of opinion, bullying and terrorism.
Voicing an opinion in the form of a Call To Action that is well within the parameters of the law is neither bullying nor terrorism. However, having a group of people share the false allegation that the author of such a Call To Action is a terrorist and a bully most absolutely is bullying.
Now turning my attention to the important matters of the Idle No More movement ….