There’s a misconception going on in the Internet about what is free speech. Somehow people believe it means you can say what you want when you want. As a result, people use words as a weapon to beat others down. When the victim objects, people cry “free speech” as though it’s some kind of shield. It’s a kind of “don’t tread on me” battle cry for online bullies to be allowed to continue their bullying. Yet, not one of them would say half of it if they were face to face with that person.

So I’m going to get unpopular now.

You’re not allowed your opinion if you use your opinion to harm others.

Yep. I went there. If your opinion hurts someone, if you’re using your words to cut and make someone bleed, keep your tongue behind your teeth. You don’t get to give it a voice. You don’t get to air it. I don’t care how loudly you scream “free speech” at me. Words that hurt stay unsaid.

I’ve seen people post things that are so incredibly damaging yet they seem oblivious to the harm they’re causing. When someone posted a video of the “World’s Ugliest Woman”, no one seemed to think about the fact that this was a 17 year old girl.

Teens commit suicide after hearing such things as “kill yourself” or “no one likes you” and other hurtful things. Then, after they’re dead, everyone is surprised by the event. Seriously? Months of hearing how you’re useless or a slut or ugly and no one thinks that has an impact?

I’ve seen adults lose their jobs, suffer from depression and cause damage in families because of online bullying. How is it that people will type these vicious words and think they have no impression?

Here’s a little test before you hit send; if you wouldn’t say these things to a person’s face, don’t say it online. It’s that simple.