Is Censorship Needed?
Freedom of speech has always been in the news headlines as a major controversial issue. The debate on whether or not speech should be censored is the huge question that is currently being discussed. There are two sides to this argument; those who believe that people should have limitless rights to freedom of speech, and then there’s the other side of the argument where people strongly believe in limiting people’s rights to speech. It is with great difficulty that our society actually comes to a conclusion. In addition, each side has persuasive and factual points that support their argument. Discovering the argument that would have the most beneficial and lasting outcome would, in all, validate that author’s initial claim. All throughout history, a majority of problems trace back to one notorious instigator: personal expression without limits. It is evident that when people are free to exercise their rights to expression, a majority of the situations escalade into a much bigger affair. Moreover, a repetition of such events will likely lead to an imbalance in society. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the creation of any laws that abridge the freedom of speech. However, many people do not recognize the prevailing power of the Congress and its authority to enforce or limit laws, without its actual presence in the Constitution. Just because people are given the right to freedom of speech, does not mean citizens can say whatever, wherever they want. The problem lies within the confusion, which is amongst us all. I personally argue that there must be limitations set to keep us from experiencing social chaos. When free speech has limits, it acts as a security blanket, protecting us personally from morally unjust words and the resulting actions. Steven Heyman makes a central argument in his article, Free Speech Has Limits, which supports my views on limiting speech and states that regulation is a beneficial factor. In Oliver Kamm’s article Free Speech Should Not Be Regulated, Kamm, in essence, describes censoring free speech as social interference. He argues that protecting free speech is very important and when humans are able to speak their minds, it stimulates debate. The author writes, “Free speech does indeed cause hurt—but there is nothing wrong in this” (Kamm, 84). What Oliver Kamm means by this is free speech is often and most likely causing undisputable tension-it is inevitable. Publication is very limited in the things it can post. Although a publication company’s job is to inform the public and write about the latest new, they are limited to information that is socially acceptable. Simon Jenkins from a story in the Sunday Times explains that the boundaries between free speech and respect are slowly but surely becoming transparent. These two topics are almost impossible to keep separated, especially when it comes to today’s publications (Kamm, 82). Oliver Kamm writes about the countless debates of nation and world speech regulation and what it is essentially doing to our society. Culture is a huge issue when it comes to the regulation of speech. In 2006 a Muslim organization claimed that a Danish cartoon defamed their prophet Mohammed by publishing this specific cartoon. One year later, the Muslim organization took the magazine Charlie Hebdo and its director to court (Kamm, 82). Although the court ruled in favor of the magazine, this controversy was like many other controversies that take place world-wide. Oliver Kamm argues that in the discussion of regulating the right of freedom of speech, there is a restraining factor. He writes, “This is the missing element in debate over the scope and regulation of speech. The notion that free speech, while important, needs to be held in balance with the avoidance of offence question-begging, because it assumes that offence is something to be avoided” (Kamm, 84). Kamm brings up the discussion whether offence is to be avoided or...
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