The importance of freedom of expression

Media Freedom of expression gives special rights and duties to the media. In my view, our action today should only mean that Government's permissible supervision of Internet contents stops at the traditional line of unprotected speech.

Who makes the decision? And yet, when might the government draw reasonable limits on speech, and why? The barriers to free expression discussed here show why exercising our right to free expression is not as simple as living in a democratic society that broadly respects rights.

But we should expect such speech to occur in a medium in which citizens from all walks of life have a voice.

freedom of speech law

The right to speak your mind freely on important issues in society, access information and hold the powers that be to account, plays a vital role in the healthy development process of any society. Even though the concept of freedom of speech on its face seems quite simple, in reality there are complex lines that can be drawn around what kinds of speech are protected and in what setting.

Truth is a very personal and intimate concept.

why is freedom of speech important in a democracy

Our hope is that this volume will enlighten, inspire and challenge readers to think about the role of free speech in a free and democratic society. Whether they like it or not, the people in power in the long run need critique and open information.

Freedom of speech limitations

Enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution, freedom of speech grants all Americans the liberty to criticize the government and speak their minds without fear of being censored or persecuted. Ohio in , the court declared that even inflammatory speech, such as racist language by a leader of the Ku Klux Klan, should generally be protected unless it is likely to cause imminent violence. Trade union meetings were banned and courts routinely granted injunctions prohibiting strikes and other labor protests. It is a right that makes the rest possible, also the social rights. And remember: Very few have the privilege to be able to trust an independent superior authority to take care of one's rights. How much do these barriers and lack of access to freedom of expression matter? Limitations to freedom of speech may occur through legal sanction or social disapprobation, or both. This happened in the country that once led the European struggle for freedom of speech. A child born so premature it is almost an abortion can be saved, but at what cost to the child? Access to free expression is also vital both to support the development process and as a development goal in its own right. The result was that it became an ideology named multiculturalism: Cultures must be preserved, not individuals. But some heads of states, for example in China — and not only those, but also leading politicians in the West — argue that freedom of speech is not so important: look instead at all those people who have been lifted out of poverty and therefore have a better life.

Culture, not the individual, has rights. The ability to stand independently and courageously facing life is needed in a world where even what once was absolutely certain, like the boundaries between life and death, have become variable and uncertain.

Two lessons can be learned from this historical fact.

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Freedom of expression