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This post does not condone any action that expresses its self in the murder of Innocent people anywhere in the world.

My interest here is what it is we think freedom of speech is and what principles need to be in place to ensure an individual’s right to freedom of opinion and expression, and why? Where do we draw the line?  Do we need to?

It is imperative that countries allow freedom of expression and speech in the media, Internet and on the radio to maintain a successful country economically, socially, politically, and to eliminate any dangerous.

If we do not come to the defense of the free speech rights of the most unpopular among us, even if their views are antithetical to the very freedom expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, dated 1948 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1976  then no one’s liberty will be secure.  All  theses rights are “indivisible.

The repugnant lost of Life in France once again shows that ours is a world rife with interlocking systems of oppression that serve to harm groups of people based on criteria such as gender, sexuality, disability status, economic status, race, ethnicity, and religion.

The path to freedom is long and arduous. Many people suffered along the way, but the “right” to freedom of expression is not final and absolute.

On the other hand the right to express one’s thoughts and to communicate freely with others affirms the dignity and worth of each and every member of society, and allows each individual to realize his or her full human potential.

Thus, freedom of expression is an end in itself — and as such, deserves society’s greatest protection.

These days there are many shadows where freedom resided other than in speech books, newspapers, leaflets, and rallies, press, cartoons, media, such as symbolic speech in works of art, T-shirt slogans, political buttons, music lyrics and theatrical performances not to mention being online.

The anonymity of the internet allows people to express their opinions without being pre-judged”. Anonymity gives power – it can offend, but it also gives people a voice. It can be extremely helpful for activists – it can provide a platform for things that need to be said. However, some feel it contradicts the self-exposure purpose of social networks and it is important to consider who you are talking to in a debate.

Should the Internet be subject to any form of government control?

If you consider that the Internet itself doesn’t give a person a voice, rather it give them the opportunity to use their voice, and for a vast number of users who already use their voices, in terms of stating their thoughts and opinions offline, the internet merely facilitate in a greater way their desire to speak out on matters causing them concern.

In my opinion we should not give the government the power to decide which opinions are hateful, for history has taught us that government is more apt to use this power to prosecute minorities than to protect them. History teaches that the first target of government repression is never the last.

So can there be or should there be  “Control of the mind”

When you consider that Freedom of Expression (FoE) is an essentially enabling democracy providing a gateway to the realization of many other human rights. The foundation of self-fulfillment. The attainment and advancement of knowledge, and the search for the truth.

Should we be defending the free speech rights of groups that spew hate, such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis, ISIS.

In a perfect world, if a person or group of people wished to express their prejudices regarding another group (or groups) of people to society at large, that expression would not matter. The only harms that would come about from such an expression would be the public humiliation, chastisement, and exclusion of the person or group expressing those views by the rest of society.

But we live in a world far from perfect and Freedom of expression is been tested over and over again. Especially during times of national stress, like war abroad or social upheaval at home.

It will continue to be so as the eminent 19th-century writer and civil libertarian, John Stuart Mill, contended that enlightened judgment is possible only if one considers all facts and ideas, from whatever source, and tests one’s own conclusions against opposing views. Therefore, all points of view — even those that are “bad” or socially harmful — should be represented in society’s “marketplace of ideas.”

At the same time, freedom of speech does not prevent punishing conduct that intimidates, harasses, or threatens another person, even if only words are used.

However in today’s world, we have delegated many of our daily decisions to computers.

On the drive to work, a GPS device suggests the best route; at your desk, Microsoft Word guesses at your misspellings, and Facebook recommends new friends. In the past few years, the suggestion has been made that when computers make such choices they are “speaking. In 2003, in a civil suit brought by a firm dissatisfied with the ranking of Google’s search results, Google asserted that its search results were constitutionally protected speech.

” WHAT DOES “PROTECTED SPEECH” INCLUDE?

In answering this questions speech should only be punished if it presented “a clear and present danger” of imminent harm.  Another words pure speech characterized by  hate and not “Symbolic speech” — nonverbal expression whose purpose is to communicate ideas.

To give protection to commercial speech (like advertisements) is to give computers the rights intended for humans. To elevate our machines above ourselves.

Pornography is another one of those issues that borderline between free speech and sensibility.

The amount of speech that can be curtailed in the interest of national security over used the concept of “national security” to shield itself from criticism, and to discourage public discussion of controversial policies or decisions.”right to know” is essential to its ability to fully participate in democratic decision-making.

There is a clear need for transformative change in order to achieve a human rights-based sustainable.

The time has come to stop using the freedom of speech as a hazard net and start modifying our racist and hateful behavior. Those with unpopular political ideas have always borne the brunt of government repression.

The danger is that freedoms are supposed to protect citizens from authorities, not the politicians from the citizens.

If we the people are to be the masters of our fate and of our elected government, we must be well-informed and have access to all information, ideas and points of view. Government can limit some protected speech by imposing “time, place and manner” restrictions. This is most commonly done by requiring permits for meetings, rallies and demonstrations. But a permit cannot be unreasonably withheld, nor can it be denied based on content of the speech. That would be what is called viewpoint discrimination — and that is unconstitutional.

Mass ignorance is a breeding ground for oppression and tyranny, fueled by expressions of intolerance and non-acceptance.

Should flag burning be a crime?

What about government or private censorship of works of art that touch on sensitive issues like religion or sexuality?

Hate speech is defined as “speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against someone based on his/her race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.” Threatening phone calls, for example, are not constitutionally protected. Libelous statements” “obscene” material fighting words … which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace,” are not protected

In taking on a role of international ambassador for freedom of speech French history unfortunately (like most countries in the world has dark moments when it comes to freedom) is blemished. Indeed any country that trades in Arms in my opinion is unfit to talk about freedom.

The real danger now it that we allow more restrictions to our freedoms. However, ours as I have said  is not a perfect world and there are clear and present dangers.

The problem of intolerance is not endemic to any one country or context.

JE SUIS BOB.

 

 

 

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