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Free to Speak

Freedom of Speech Principle

Freedom of speech holds that a person, or a group of persons, or an entity, can express their thinking without the fear of being censored or facing other consequences from institutions that have affiliations to the government. In today’s world, there are repressive regimes that do not entertain or allow free expression, and such states go to great lengths to censure folks and groups who freely express their views – which, more often than not, do not bode well with the views of the ruling government.

International bodies and human rights organizations have been at the forefront of pushing for freedom of speech in various countries, but some states have not been welcoming of such proposals.

Restrictions on content continue to prevail in dozens of countries, and with advances in technology, some states have even enacted full blown measures to restrict the sharing and access to information and content.

Legal Measures   

More often than not, countries that do not allow people to express themselves freely use legal restrictions to prevent folks from articulating and sharing their ideas.

From incitement charges to defamation, there is a wide variety of legal charges that the government and its agencies use to repress individuals and curtail free speech.

Most of these practices are not in line with the principle of free speech, and those countries that use such methods stifle the rights of their citizens. Further, countries that are in the business of restricting speech, more often than not – are also unfriendly when it comes to the journalism sphere.

Various countries measure differently in the Freedom of Speech index, and this index is drawn from the policies that the governments enact and enforce with regards to public communication and speech. Some countries do not allow or tolerate views and opinions that are critical of them, and in these countries, there is little space for free speech, and in most cases, people and groups who get to share their thoughts which are conflicting with the ruling government always find it hard.

There are those countries where people can speak and share their opinions freely, without fear of facing legal action. Across both areas, it is clear that freedom of speech is something that has the potential to cause a lot of change and to impact society on a very vast scale. This is precisely why, in some countries, people are limited from speaking what they think about.