It is a basic human right to have the freedom of speech. Everyone on the planet should have both the right and the opportunity to express themselves and their opinion via through free speech. When this is taken away, an international law is being broken.
But let’s face it. At times we are not free to speak our minds. There are limitations that society puts on us and we are censored by the government on occasions also.
In society we self censor by considering what are generally acceptable and what will be approved of. But the whole point of freedom of speech is that regardless of the speakers view point; they have the opportunity to express it without being prevented in any way.
There are certain laws in place in some countries that limit the freedom of speech. One such law is “The Hate Speech” or the “Harm Principle” which decrees that anyone who writes a speech to incite hate or is purposefully to harm will be censored.
These cover many issues and although I may not agree with everyone’s view point, they should have the right to express it and I should have the right to express my feeling on their speech. Surly this is the core principle of free speech?
Without the freedom of speech act, we would not have the world we live in today. Martin Luther King delivered a speech that inspired millions and is still just as powerful today. In the society that Martin Luther King lived in, his speech was highly controversial and many people would not agree with it. Yet without it, would we really be as enriched as we are today? No, I can honestly say that that is not the case. Should Martin Luther King have been prevented from delivering this piece of history?
When contemplating the Freedom of Speech Act, we have to realise that public opinion alters and to prevent someone from delivering their viewpoint to the public could be in fact prevent some insight into a future world or opinion.
Many people, from teachers to politicians dictate what is right and acceptable to be spoken; I myself am guilty of placing restrictions on speech. But one has to consider why. I believe that the reason behind this is fear.
As a society we are now feared of not agreeing with the general census. We are growing afraid of having our own opinions and saying something that could be offensive to others. This is not what a democracy and free speech stands for.
Next time you chastise a child for saying they don’t like something, or when your friend begins a rant about how communism would be an ideal state; before you frown and tell them to shut up, consider the freedom of speech censorship act and all it has achieved so far.
"From our Guest blogger - Kate from England"