Freedom of Speech & Expression Should Be Curtailed

Topics: Human rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, European Union Pages: 5 (2116 words) Published: May 28, 2013
Freedom of speech has been said to be the foundation of modern democracy, and a fundamental part of the Western civilization. According to statistics, pretty much everyone claims to support freedom of speech. The claimed support of freedom of speech is widespread even amongst Muslims, of who over 90% support it. However, I'm positive that the numbers would be different if the question was whether it should be legal to draw cartoons about the prophet Muhammad. This reveals the unfortunate fact that even though almost everyone claims to support freedom of speech, their definition of freedom of speech is quite restricted. This is of course something that not only Muslims do, but almost everyone. In this text I will define the framework to achieve what I like to call absolute freedom of speech. Even it will have a limited restriction, but only because of the current technological level of our society. I believe with sufficient technology absolute freedom of speech will be possible indeed. As far as I concern, there is not a single nation that does not guarantee “freedom of speech” in their constitution. It is included in pretty much any EU country, in the US, Malaysia, in China and even in North Korea. This shows that the word itself is pretty meaningless, since the custom is to claim to have freedom of speech and still have a widespread censorship system in place. This applies to Western nations too, not only to countries like North Korea where the situation is abhorrent. By freedom of speech in this context I do not only mean speech, but information in any media, be it a sound recording, a picture or a video and also press. The whole point of freedom of speech is to allow even the crazy, disgusting information to be made available. Some people have the skewed view that freedom of speech should only allow the mutually agreed, fun beliefs, and not the disgusting and offending stuff. But such a view is against the whole idea of freedom. This doesn't mean that a support of freedom of speech should agree with beliefs like racism or Neo-Nazism. One has the whole right to fight against an idea or ideology, but the point is to not fight them by making thoughts illegal. The proper way to fight them is with the freedom of expression, rational discussion and debating. German has ironically banned Neo-Nazism, using the same tactics that Nazis used themselves. The restrictions in Western nations are widespread. However, as I said earlier, the information that is banned is often disgusting, but even such information should be allowed. For example, there is a community in the internet who like to collect and share pictures and videos of violent nature, often showing dead people and gory accidents. Even if this is indignant to some, it should be allowed. Some countries have naturally tried to ban it, like German. According to the prime minister of Finland, Matti Vanhanen, such information is illegal in Finland too. Violent materials, like violent video games or movies have often attracted supporters of censorship. Some games in German and Australia are banned when they were deemed too violent. Modifications like green blood are often applied in such countries to get past the censorship board. The reason for this censorship is usually that playing these games makes children violent. Although some studies seem to indicate a small correlation, this is a not proper argument for censorship. The human right for freedom of expression overrides this claim, as freedom as a concept often has a price. If a civilization starts to censorship all material that has a correlation with 'immoral' behaviour, they would have to censor a large chunk of information available, everything from critically acclaimed books to heavy metal songs. Racism is something that also attracts hordes of politically correct censorship supporters. Although such speech is mostly secured in the U.S, if it does not directly call...
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