Some Facts About Free Speech You Just Can’t Ignore
Perhaps, of all the rights that people now enjoy, it is the right to freedom of speech that is the most popular and the easiest to use as well. In the first place, it involves certain functions that are quite common to generally everyone, and it’s quite natural for human beings to react against things that they don’t like or don’t agree with. Because of this, it becomes quite simple to claim freedom of speech, the way it has become easy to use coupon codes on products when you go and shop online.
Still, there are a few things that must be clarified, because there are typically some facts about free speech which advocates choose to ignore, leaving them grossly under informed about a basic right, and, as a consequence, unable to practice it properly.
Nope, freedom is not as absolute as you would like it to be.
Fact #1: Freedom is not absolute.
You’ve probably heard the saying: “Your rights end where mine begin,” and this is actually pretty good advice. Of course, there must be limits to freedom, one can’t simply kill whoever they want. But now wait. Should we conclude that freedom is bad? Of course not. Freedom is one of those things that are good in moderation, but that may be dangerous if taken to an extreme.
Fact #2: Free speech is always already limited.
The extent to which freedom of speech is protected is in a spectrum, and varies from country to country. Some countries grant very little freedom of speech to their citizens, while some grant quite a lot. But no country allows 0% or 100% free speech. It’s hard to even imagine what something like that would mean.
Fact #3: Freedom of expression is not meant to protect commercial speech.
Of course, as telecommunications technology started to evolve and advertisement started to gain relevance, there were a number of companies that looked to free speech as a defense and protection against advertising regulations, but it didn’t work much. After all, historically, the motivation for free speech has never had anything to do with a company’s right to advertise their product.