An interesting opinion piece by Wired. It is very clear that the purpose behind having a walled private garden creates problems of its own, many of which we have seen manifested on Facebook, Twitter and similar 'subscribe to private service' networks.
But having an open public park is not going to make all those problems just go away either. A public park is created at often great cost and is open to all but does have some laws as well as regulations governing behaviour inside the park, and often has dedicated park officials to maintain it and govern behaviour.
It's unfortunate too with humans that their best as well as the worst behaviour manifests where there is no regulation of any kind.
But principles are emerging such as:
* Open area for anyone to stand and watch or listen ie. no login required for this
* Freedom to speak and criticise or disagree, but not to promote harm, violence, crime, etc
* Should be safe to bring kids to the park
* Needs some form of regulation and maintenance ie. applying universal rules fairly and without political, religious, gender, etc discrimination
The real issues maybe are having really universal rules agreed to by all countries and then also determining who/how they are regulated... Do we have one public park to rule them all, or will there be lots of smaller parks? If we can't all agree even on something like climate change that affects everyone on Earth, this is going to be an interesting nut to crack. But at least the debate is on the go now.
See To Mend a Broken Internet, Create Online Parks
We need public spaces, built in the spirit of Walt Whitman, that allow us to gather, communicate, and share in something bigger than ourselves.