Freedom of Speech - Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-15
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Vanderbilt University
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Argumentative essay
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The right to freedom of speech is among the most precious rights that everyone has. With this right, everyone, regardless of their status, has the opportunity to speak their mind and hold different opinions on the daily life matters without the fear of the society or government. Thus, speech is not limited to the public only. People are not all the same, they differ in ideas, thinking and taste. Therefore freedom of speech is sometimes referred to as freedom of thoughts. Although freedom of speech is essential to every person, it does not give people an opportunity to use the right of hate speech. It is vital for the society to be given specific limits No one is expected to use an abusive form of language in public without any reaction. Nobody should use this right to attack other people without any evidence. It must not be used to hurt other people or cause a fight or rebellion. This reason is why the government is taking steps to avoid the abuse of freedom of speech (Shackel, 2). Though freedom of speech is a fundamental right to everyone, some individuals are using it to propagate aggressiveness, hostility, and fanaticism. Everyone is given the right to express themselves, but before doing this, it is their responsibility to set some limits

The ability of freedom of speech to strengthen all the other human rights helps the society to evolve and advance at a constant rate. Any change in the community depends upon the ability of the people to state their opinions and speak their mind freely. But this does not allow them to justify the use of hate speech and use it to hurt other peoples feelings. Freedom of speech can cause conflict if it is not limited. If there is no limit, people can express their opinions without any fear. At other times, people can also say negative things towards others. They might even pose insults to others causing a lot of conflicts. A good example is when the France Charlie magazine talked ill about the Islam religion. For this reason, the IS attacked and murdered many France citizens. This conflict was caused by a free speech which had no limitations (Delgado, 233). Free speech should also be limited due to privacy. Secrets of a nation should not be revealed because it might expose the country to specific dangers. A company should not spread its commercial secrets because it might influence on its benefits (Volokh, 1049).

The society has evolved to appreciate the brave leaders who freely expressed their beliefs and the great thinkers through history. The ideas that opposed the typical mindset were considered as hate back in time. Those beliefs encouraged hatred towards the societies way of life, tradition, and culture. Recent studies show that free speech has always been used to fight for change (Maussen and Grillo, 178).

Apart from reinforcing other human rights, freedom of speech is essential because it enables people to hear each others opinions. People need to offer others their views as well as to listen to others opinions. But unfortunately, todays society has a big problem. Many people rarely look to others opinions, and they never recognize their decisions on some issues if they do not agree with them. People should feel free to exchange their ideas and thoughts with those who are opposing their point of views. Doing this will reduce the use of hate speech in the society.

Today, with easy access to the internet and social media websites we get to read or hear the use of hate speech many times. We encounter a lot of insult comments and negative expressions, and this is a significant threat to humanity. Many people today are anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic and most do not support gay marriage and many more. Those who say that hate speech is not a freedom of speech, mostly have negative expressions towards specific individuals and ideas. What will come next after the government or society start banning peoples freedom of expressing their beliefs? There always arises another thing after one falls and humankind will eventually live with the fear of saying anything. The fact is that the society is becoming oversensitive. Everything that is not agreed with is taken to be an insult and is branded as hate (Banks, 234).

Although the use of free speech is an essential right, it should not be used to justify the use of hate speech. Thus, freedom of speech should be set to some limits in some cases. Everyone has the right to express themselves through speech, but no one should abuse this right (Shackel, 3). A typical example is the US president Donald Trump who is famous for his racial remarks. He does not provide rent homes for the African American people, and he supports the violence against the American Muslim people and the execution of the Black Americans by his supporters. He wants to ban the Muslims from the US, and he makes fun of the Japanese and Chinese people for their cultural heritage and poor English. The irony comes when his supporters term his actions as freedom of speech not knowing that it is his hatred that contains no limits.

A few individuals call for free speech cases because they think that they are unable to express themselves. There are also other individuals who bring the free speech card because they are unsure of what they are saying. These individuals are the reason as to why there is an excellent debate about the free speech and hate speech. They say that their freedom to free speech is being abused because they are too humble to curse people out. Due to this reason, they are referred to as irresponsible citizens. it, therefore, means that there should be a limitation on freedom of speech as explained by the above reasons


Freedom of speech is, thus, an essential human right that every person has the right to practice. It enables everyone to express their opinions regardless of the nature of those views. The society should make efforts in establishing dialogues between individuals whose beliefs conflict. People need to listen and also to be heard by others. Instead of burning bridges, the society can build strong bridges by putting all this into practice. These suggestions do not limit the right to free speech, but they give facts that people should have the right to express ideas and opinions to strengthen progress and innovation. On the other hand, it is not right to spread hatred, to harm and undermine people in the name of free speech.

Works Cited

Banks, James. "Regulating hate speech online." International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, vol. 24, no. 3, 2010, pp. 233-239.

Delgado, Richard. "The Harm in Hate Speech. By Jeremy Waldron. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012. 292 pp. $26.95 cloth." Law & Society Review, vol. 47, no. 1, 2013, pp. 232-233.

Shackel, Nicholas. "Freedom of Speech." Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics, 2015, pp. 1-5.

Volokh, Eugene. "Freedom of Speech and Information Privacy: The Troubling Implications of a Right to Stop People from Speaking about You." Stanford Law Review, vol. 52, no. 5, 2000, p. 1049.

Maussen, Marcel, and Ralph Grillo. "Regulation of Speech in Multicultural Societies: Introduction." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 40, no. 2, 2013, pp. 174-193.

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