Freedom Of Speech

Given the current social climate, it has got me thinking a little more lately about the term ‘freedom of speech’.

I wonder whether such a term is an illusion, or whether it truly exists in the here and now.

Yes. Freedom of speech has given us a lot of movement in many different areas, progressing us to become a more open-minded populous. So with this, freedom of speech has done a lot for the good of all.

Where I hesitate slightly however is with the literal meaning of freedom of speech. Now, I don’t pretend to know anything about the legal meaning of this term. I do however, in a more literal sense, think that there are certain elements to expressing our opinions that can sometimes be repressed for the sake of offending others.

Whilst it is right to always consider your audience and limit offence, often offence cannot be avoided and so, why limit our opinions. Surely the best way forward is for all to express their opinions truly. This would open us up to be a more open-minded world in the longer term.

Equally, those who disagree have the right to disagree. I think the key here is that any topics are both discussed and reacted to in a fair and constructive manner. Not in an aggressive or negative manner. However, does this cause conflict with ‘freedom of speech’.

I am not saying it’s an easy topic. As I write this, I realise the multitude of avenues the topic can take and the complexity of it begins to unravel. I do think however that in this period of social interaction whereby such freedoms are expressed but also abused, it is certainly a topic to be considered. Especially as social media will only expand into the near future.

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