Your opinions and ideas are important as a human being and you have the right to share your thoughts with others and demand a better world. You also have the right to agree or disagree with those in power and to express your views on such issues in the form of peaceful assembly.
freedom of expression is one of the fundamental human rights provisions that reinforces all other human rights. And provides the opportunity for development and progress for society. In fact, the ability to freely express one's thoughts and ideas is essential for change in society. Or upholds other legal barriers.
The right to freedom of expression is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as in international human rights law adopted by the United Nations as one of the main examples of human rights. In addition, the constitutions of many countries explicitly protect freedom of expression.
Therefore, in today's world, it is widely accepted that freedom of expression is an essential part of a democratic society and should be upheld by Support the community and the structure of government.
But the important question about freedom of expression is, to What extent? In answer to this question, some believe that freedom of expression should be exercised at all costs and without any limits, in all elements of our social life, while others believe that this approach can be an excuse to express harmful and destructive content, without That no prosecution or reprimand may involve the speaker.
In the continuation of this article by BingMag, we first examine the concept of freedom of expression and its origins, then its importance in various aspects of individual life and We explore social and its relationship to censorship and the "culture of cancellation," and finally explore the limitations of free speech and its enforcement differences around the world.
Also keep in mind that this It is by no means a formal guide to the laws of freedom of expression, but merely an exploration of the various perspectives on the concept of freedom of expression.
What is freedom of expression?
There are different definitions of freedom of expression, but at the core of them all is a common element; The legal right to express or hear various ideas and opinions freely and without fear of censorship or legal action. freedom of expression means that individuals have the right to express their views in any way they wish.
Is freedom of expression a human right?
Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 Prepared by representatives of 50 United Nations member states. The Declaration was, in fact, made in response to World War II, with the aim of being a means of preventing the recurrence of such large-scale conflicts.
It was designed to meet the human rights demands of all the peoples of the world and to ensure that no human rights are violated. Articles 18 and 19 of this Declaration are the ones most closely linked to the concept of freedom of expression. In fact, Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that every human being has the right to believe in whatever he or she wishes and to practice his or her beliefs (including religion). Article 19 also states that everyone has the right to express their views freely in any way they wish.
This statement then became the basis for the enactment of various human rights laws throughout the world, including Article 10 of the Law of Rights. Human in Britain. For example, this article grants the right to freedom of expression without interference to its citizens, but also notes that this individual and social freedom may be suspended under certain conditions, such as in the event of a threat to national security. p>
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does freedom of speech mean that you can say anything you want?
The short answer to this question is no. But the more complete answer is that freedom of expression laws depend on the country in which you live, but in general, there are always exceptions to every rule. For example, Article 10 of the UK Human Rights Act states that government officials can restrict freedom of expression in the UK if:
- national security concerns Or the public security of the country.
- The authorities decide to prevent disorder or crime.
- The authorities intend to protect the health or moral condition of the community. li>
- Authorities intend to protect personal rights and reputations.
- Authorities intend to protect confidential information.
- Authorities intend to protect the authority and Maintain the impartiality of judges.
freedom of expression worldwide
In one study, researchers surveyed citizens of 38 different countries about their attitudes toward freedom of expression. The United States was seen as the strongest supporter of free speech in the world, with other countries with high levels of free speech including Mexico, Venezuela, Canada, and Australia.
freedom of expression included Senegal, Burkina Faso, Jordan, Pakistan and Ukraine. The results of this study show that the principle of freedom of expression is not a concept of the same shape and size for all people of the world and depends a lot on the constitution and culture of the country.
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Why is freedom of speech important?
There are many reasons why freedom of expression is important. Of course, the biggest reason is that the concept of freedom has a high priority in a democracy. If we can not speak freely, it often means that our freedoms are somehow limited.
The truth is that all human beings make mistakes and learn in some way during their interactions with the world that their mistakes To correct. One of the most important ways to help us correct our beliefs and opinions is to listen to different and contradictory arguments. Be yourself, there will be no critical dialogue. In this way, disagreements can be very constructive and contribute to the intellectual development of societies.
In addition, even if false arguments and conflicting attitudes are silenced in a society by force, such thoughts do not necessarily disappear. Instead, they can take a more radical approach.
In addition, since totalitarian governments only express freedom to people who are their own voice and have similar views, this kind of behavior creates an echo room. It does, in which you only hear opinions that support each other, and critical discourse has no role in such an atmosphere. In contrast, freedom of expression allows ideas to be challenged, refined, and better understood.
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how far is freedom of expression?
We have already talked about some of the reasons that Why a government may restrict the right to freedom of expression, so we know that freedom of expression also has its limitations.
However, it is also worth noting that freedom of expression depends on the particular field in which you are There are limitations.
For example, even if it is your human right to express your views freely, do so in your own workplace in a way that offends your co-workers or attitude Change the boss towards you, then freedom of speech can have a devastating effect on your working life.
In fact, if your free speech violates the freedom of others, it is considered inappropriate behavior. p>
does freedom of expression also apply to digital platforms?
Often, we come across controversial comments and statements on the Internet. That is why it is important to evaluate the role of digital platforms and social media in the discussion of freedom of expression.
In fact, some experts believe that the Internet is being used by some to promote terrorism and extremism. This is because digital platforms are sometimes accused of providing a platform for propagating destructive views and even planning terrorist attacks.
Digital platforms play a very important role in the discussion of freedom of expression, because They should do their best to ensure that malicious and dangerous activity does not take place on their platforms, while restricting people's freedom of expression.
There are rare exceptions to this, such as when Twitter recently boycotted Donald Trump. But a bill was passed soon after that prevented social media from removing politicians from their platforms in this way. Digital platforms, like other media, do not filter information and create a lot of potential for fake news, undocumented comments, and even malicious ideas.
The problem is that filtering this information is a violation. freedom of expression is, so finding the middle ground for digital platform content is enough Yar is difficult.
Recently, Facebook and Twitter have tried to investigate fake news and prevent it from spreading.
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Is the Internet a public sphere?
In fact, one of the reasons why the Internet monitoring process is so difficult is that the Internet is a public forum. The Internet provides a platform for people who would otherwise be barred from expressing their views. It can be very powerful in certain cases, such as when people witness the abuse of power by government officials or the police. Just like the story of George Floyd being killed by the police and the release of the video by ordinary people in cyberspace. The truth is that the power of online storytelling cannot be underestimated.
However, the Internet allows people to share information and opinions for free under normal circumstances. Consider, for example, Wikipedia, where articles can be written, edited, and reviewed by anyone willing to contribute.
freedom of expression versus hate speech
One of the criticisms of unrestricted freedom of expression is that this kind of unrestricted freedom can lead to hatred. Be a community. In fact, hatred can be defined as the use of abusive or threatening language against a particular group of people, generally based on prejudices related to issues such as race, gender, religion, or disability.
Some may ask, Since people should be allowed to express their opinions, why is it not possible for people to express dissatisfaction with certain things?
This is an argument often made by proponents. Complete freedom of expression, even hate speech, is expressed. However, people may disagree with this argument and want a clearer line between hatred and incitement to violence in society.
Can freedom of expression be an excuse for racist behavior and discrimination in society? ?
The main reason for the difficulty in deciding What is offensive and What is not. It is not considered offensive. In fact, it is better to ask, if we ban all words that different people may find offensive, how much space is left for conversation?
Although insult is a mental concept and strongly depends on one's personal point of view. , But it can be argued that the law has a duty to protect people from threats and violent behavior, albeit on a verbal level.
Hate speech has become a common pattern in political propaganda. Even in fully democratic Western systems, such statements inevitably target minorities, women, immigrants, and the weaker elements of society, reducing the range of diversity of opinion in society.
This phenomenon is due to the anonymous identity of individuals in society. The Internet space, which does not seek prosecution, has intensified.
does censorship violate freedom of expression?
The issue of censorship is often raised in connection with freedom of expression, because people around the world often feel that they are being unfairly censored in cyberspace and their rights are being violated. The phenomenon of censorship can be defined as the suppression of information dissemination, although it often relates to things like images, the contents of books, and television programs.
It can be argued that some forms of censorship are necessary. For example, websites that children have regular access to may censor inappropriate images. However, censorship laws can be very vague online and even in many cases censorship can be unfair. More details on this in the following.
Dangers of censorship
Internet censorship is a direct threat to the freedom of society to access information and express its views. The bottom line is that there are no clear rules on many digital platforms, which means we rarely even know What they might be censoring or blocking.
Last year, for example, a famous model named Nyome Nicholas-Williams posted a normal picture of herself on Instagram, and without her breaking any of Instagram rules, her picture was removed several times, and this issue. It became a headline in tech news.
The problem is that platforms like Instagram act casually on issues like nudity, leaving plenty of room for prejudice, discrimination and unfair censorship.
In general, we all know that government censorship of information can be very dangerous and harmful. Severe censorship is often a feature of dictatorial regimes, and the citizens of such societies feed on government propaganda instead of accessing news, books, and other types of information. In fact, this is a direct violation of human rights and freedom of expression.
Is Cancel culture a kind of censorship?
A very common social phenomenon in today's world is the culture of cancellation (culture of exile). Restricting freedom of expression through exclusion in society or the digital space is not a direct attack like government censorship or social media platforms, but it can be an effective way to destroy an individual, group, or institution.
Cancellation culture is a way of telling people that they do not want to listen to the speaker, instead of directly forbidding them from expressing their opinions.
Cancellation culture is usually a response to someone who says something unacceptable. Expresses or misbehaves. This phenomenon usually involves people withdrawing their support for the person being canceled, but it can also involve trying to have a negative impact on the person's career future.
For the reasons mentioned earlier, cancellation or deportation Making people can be harmful, because it means that we avoid interacting with them and creating critical discourse. However, rightly or wrongly, this really depends on the reasons why someone is excluded from society.
The important thing to keep in mind is to ask someone to answer for His words or actions are not considered part of the cancellation culture. Criticism of the culture of cancellation, however, should not be an excuse for people not to be held accountable for their destructive actions and statements, just as the right to freedom of expression should not be an excuse for spreading hatred in society.
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Although freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and an important part of a free and democratic world, it is still important for It is good for all of us to think about its limitations. The ability to question different aspects of social life is a positive feature in democracies, and the development of curiosity is an important part of the human learning experience.This is only about education and information. Be sure to consult an expert before using the recommendations in this article. For more information, read the BingMag Meg Disclaimer .
Sources: FutureLearn, Amnesty International, Index on Censorship
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