Freedom of speech
|Part of a series on|
Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. The right to freedom of expression has been recognized as a human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law by the United Nations. A lot of countries have constitutional law that protects free speech. Terms like free speech, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression are used interchangeably in political discourse. However, in legal sense, the freedom of expression includes any activity of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
Article 19 of the UDHR states that "everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice." The version of Article 19 in the ICCPR later amends this by stating that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals."
Freedom of speech and expression, therefore, may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations or boundaries to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, food labeling, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, dignity, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury. Justifications for such include the harm principle, proposed by John Stuart Mill in On Liberty, which suggests that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."
The idea of the "offense principle" is also used in the justification of speech limitations, describing the restriction on forms of expression deemed offensive to society, considering factors such as extent, duration, motives of the speaker, and ease with which it could be avoided. With the evolution of the digital age, application of freedom of speech becomes more controversial as new means of communication and restrictions arise, for example the Golden Shield Project, an initiative by Chinese government's Ministry of Public Security that filters potentially unfavourable data from foreign countries.
Freedom of speech and expression has a long history that predates modern international human rights instruments. It is thought that the ancient Athenian democratic principle of free speech may have emerged in the late 6th or early 5th century BC. The values of the Roman Republic included freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
Freedom of speech was vindicated by Erasmus and Milton. Edward Coke claimed freedom of speech as "an ancient custom of Parliament" in the 1590s, and it was affirmed in the Protestation of 1621. England's Bill of Rights 1689 legally established the constitutional right of freedom of speech in Parliament which is still in effect, so-called parliamentary privilege.
One of the world's first freedom of the press acts was introduced in Sweden in 1766, mainly due to the classical liberal member of parliament and Ostrobothnian priest Anders Chydenius. Excepted and liable to prosecution was only vocal opposition to the King and the Church of Sweden.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, adopted during the French Revolution in 1789, specifically affirmed freedom of speech as an inalienable right. Adopted in 1791, freedom of speech is a feature of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The French Declaration provides for freedom of expression in Article 11, which states that:
The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, states that:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Today, freedom of speech, or the freedom of expression, is recognised in international and regional human rights law. The right is enshrined in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. Based on John Milton's arguments, freedom of speech is understood as a multi-faceted right that includes not only the right to express, or disseminate, information and ideas, but three further distinct aspects:
- the right to seek information and ideas;
- the right to receive information and ideas;
- the right to impart information and ideas
International, regional and national standards also recognise that freedom of speech, as the freedom of expression, includes any medium, whether it be orally, in written, in print, through the Internet or through art forms. This means that the protection of freedom of speech as a right includes not only the content, but also the means of expression.
Relationship to other rights
The right to freedom of speech and expression is closely related to other rights, and may be limited when conflicting with other rights (see limitations on freedom of speech). The right to freedom of expression is also related to the right to a fair trial and court proceeding which may limit access to the search for information, or determine the opportunity and means in which freedom of expression is manifested within court proceedings. As a general principle freedom of expression may not limit the right to privacy, as well as the honor and reputation of others. However greater latitude is given when criticism of public figures is involved.
The right to freedom of expression is particularly important for media, which plays a special role as the bearer of the general right to freedom of expression for all. However, freedom of the press does not necessarily enable freedom of speech. Judith Lichtenberg has outlined conditions in which freedom of the press may constrain freedom of speech, for example, if all the people who control the various mediums of publication suppress information or stifle the diversity of voices inherent in freedom of speech. This limitation was famously summarized as "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one". Lichtenberg argues that freedom of the press is simply a form of property right summed up by the principle "no money, no voice."
As a negative right
Freedom of speech is usually seen as a negative right. This means that the government is legally obliged to take no action against the speaker on the basis of the speaker's views, but that no one is obliged to help any speakers publish their views, and no one is required to listen to, agree with, or acknowledge the speaker or the speaker's views.
Freedom of speech is understood to be fundamental in a democracy. The norms on limiting freedom of expression mean that public debate may not be completely suppressed even in times of emergency. One of the most notable proponents of the link between freedom of speech and democracy is Alexander Meiklejohn. He has argued that the concept of democracy is that of self-government by the people. For such a system to work, an informed electorate is necessary. In order to be appropriately knowledgeable, there must be no constraints on the free flow of information and ideas. According to Meiklejohn, democracy will not be true to its essential ideal if those in power are able to manipulate the electorate by withholding information and stifling criticism. Meiklejohn acknowledges that the desire to manipulate opinion can stem from the motive of seeking to benefit society. However, he argues, choosing manipulation negates, in its means, the democratic ideal.
Eric Barendt has called this defence of free speech on the grounds of democracy "probably the most attractive and certainly the most fashionable free speech theory in modern Western democracies.". Thomas I. Emerson expanded on this defence when he argued that freedom of speech helps to provide a balance between stability and change. Freedom of speech acts as a "safety valve" to let off steam when people might otherwise be bent on revolution. He argues that "The principle of open discussion is a method of achieving a more adaptable and at the same time more stable community, of maintaining the precarious balance between healthy cleavage and necessary consensus." Emerson furthermore maintains that "Opposition serves a vital social function in offsetting or ameliorating (the) normal process of bureaucratic decay."
Research undertaken by the Worldwide Governance Indicators project at the World Bank, indicates that freedom of speech, and the process of accountability that follows it, have a significant impact in the quality of governance of a country. "Voice and Accountability" within a country, defined as "the extent to which a country's citizens are able to participate in selecting their government, as well as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and free media" is one of the six dimensions of governance that the Worldwide Governance Indicators measure for more than 200 countries. Against this backdrop it is important that development agencies create grounds for effective support for a free press in developing countries.
Richard Moon has developed the argument that the value of freedom of speech and freedom of expression lies with social interactions. Moon writes that "by communicating an individual forms relationships and associations with others – family, friends, co-workers, church congregation, and countrymen. By entering into discussion with others an individual participates in the development of knowledge and in the direction of the community."
Freedom of speech is not regarded as absolute by some with most legal systems generally setting limits on the freedom of speech, particularly when freedom of speech conflicts with other rights and protections, such as in the cases of libel, slander, pornography, obscenity, fighting words, and intellectual property.
Harmful and offensive content
Some views are illegal to express because it can cause harm to others. This category often includes speech that is both false and dangerous, such as falsely shouting "Fire!" in a theatre and causing a panic. Justifications for limitations to freedom of speech often reference the "harm principle" or the "offence principle."
In On Liberty (1859), John Stuart Mill argued that "...there ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it may be considered." Mill argues that the fullest liberty of expression is required to push arguments to their logical limits, rather than the limits of social embarrassment.
In 1985, Joel Feinberg introduced what is known as the "offence principle". Feinberg wrote, "It is always a good reason in support of a proposed criminal prohibition that it would probably be an effective way of preventing serious offence (as opposed to injury or harm) to persons other than the actor, and that it is probably a necessary means to that end." Hence Feinberg argues that the harm principle sets the bar too high and that some forms of expression can be legitimately prohibited by law because they are very offensive. But, as offending someone is less serious than harming someone, the penalties imposed should be higher for causing harm. In contrast, Mill does not support legal penalties unless they are based on the harm principle. Because the degree to which people may take offence varies, or may be the result of unjustified prejudice, Feinberg suggests that a number of factors need to be taken into account when applying the offence principle, including: the extent, duration and social value of the speech, the ease with which it can be avoided, the motives of the speaker, the number of people offended, the intensity of the offence, and the general interest of the community at large.
Jasper Doomen argued that harm should be defined from the point of view of the individual citizen, not limiting harm to physical harm since nonphysical harm may also be involved; Feinberg's distinction between harm and offence is criticized as largely trivial.
In 1999, Bernard Harcourt wrote of the collapse of the harm principle: "Today the debate is characterized by a cacophony of competing harm arguments without any way to resolve them. There is no longer an argument within the structure of the debate to resolve the competing claims of harm. The original harm principle was never equipped to determine the relative importance of harms."
Interpretations of both the harm and offense limitations to freedom of speech are culturally and politically relative. For instance, in Russia, the harm and offense principles have been used to justify the Russian LGBT propaganda law restricting speech (and action) in relation to LGBT issues. A number of European countries that take pride in freedom of speech nevertheless outlaw speech that might be interpreted as Holocaust denial. These include Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland and Romania. Armenian genocide denial is also illegal in some countries.
In some countries, blasphemy is a crime. For example, in Austria, defaming Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, is not protected as free speech. In contrast, in France, blasphemy and disparagement of Muhammad are protected under free speech law.
In the U.S., the standing landmark opinion on political speech is Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), expressly overruling Whitney v. California. In Brandenburg, the U.S. Supreme Court referred to the right even to speak openly of violent action and revolution in broad terms:
[Our] decisions have fashioned the principle that the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not allow a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or cause such action.
The opinion in Brandenburg discarded the previous test of "clear and present danger" and made the right to freedom of (political) speech protections in the United States almost absolute. Hate speech is also protected by the First Amendment in the United States, as decided in R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, (1992) in which the Supreme Court ruled that hate speech is permissible, except in the case of imminent violence. See the First Amendment to the United States Constitution for more detailed information on this decision and its historical background.
Time, place, and manner
Limitations based on time, place, and manner apply to all speech, regardless of the view expressed. They are generally restrictions that are intended to balance other rights or a legitimate government interest. For example, a time, place, and manner restriction might prohibit a noisy political demonstration at a politician's home during the middle of the night, as that impinges upon the rights of the politician's neighbors to quiet enjoyment of their own homes. An otherwise identical activity might be permitted if it happened at a different time (e.g., during the day), at a different place (e.g., at a government building or in another public forum), or in a different manner (e.g., a silent protest).
The Internet and information society
Jo Glanville, editor of the Index on Censorship, states that "the Internet has been a revolution for censorship as much as for free speech". International, national and regional standards recognise that freedom of speech, as one form of freedom of expression, applies to any medium, including the Internet. The Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 was the first major attempt by the United States Congress to regulate pornographic material on the Internet. In 1997, in the landmark cyberlaw case of Reno v. ACLU, the US Supreme Court partially overturned the law. Judge Stewart R. Dalzell, one of the three federal judges who in June 1996 declared parts of the CDA unconstitutional, in his opinion stated the following:
The Internet is a far more speech-enhancing medium than print, the village green, or the mails. Because it would necessarily affect the Internet itself, the CDA would necessarily reduce the speech available for adults on the medium. This is a constitutionally intolerable result. Some of the dialogue on the Internet surely tests the limits of conventional discourse. Speech on the Internet can be unfiltered, unpolished, and unconventional, even emotionally charged, sexually explicit, and vulgar – in a word, "indecent" in many communities. But we should expect such speech to occur in a medium in which citizens from all walks of life have a voice. We should also protect the autonomy that such a medium confers to ordinary people as well as media magnates.[...] My analysis does not deprive the Government of all means of protecting children from the dangers of Internet communication. The Government can continue to protect children from pornography on the Internet through vigorous enforcement of existing laws criminalising obscenity and child pornography. [...] As we learned at the hearing, there is also a compelling need for public educations about the benefits and dangers of this new medium, and the Government can fill that role as well. In my view, our action today should only mean that Government's permissible supervision of Internet contents stops at the traditional line of unprotected speech. [...] The absence of governmental regulation of Internet content has unquestionably produced a kind of chaos, but as one of the plaintiff's experts put it with such resonance at the hearing: "What achieved success was the very chaos that the Internet is. The strength of the Internet is chaos." Just as the strength of the Internet is chaos, so that strength of our liberty depends upon the chaos and cacophony of the unfettered speech the First Amendment protects.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Declaration of Principles adopted in 2003 makes specific reference to the importance of the right to freedom of expression for the "Information Society" in stating:
We reaffirm, as an essential foundation of the Information society, and as outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Communication is a fundamental social process, a basic human need and the foundation of all social organisation. It is central to the Information Society. Everyone, everywhere should have the opportunity to participate and no one should be excluded from the benefits of the Information Society offers.
According to Bernt Hugenholtz and Lucie Guibault, the public domain is under pressure from the "commodification of information" as information with previously little or no economic value has acquired independent economic value in the information age. This includes factual data, personal data, genetic information and pure ideas. The commodification of information is taking place through intellectual property law, contract law, as well as broadcasting and telecommunications law.
Freedom of information
Freedom of information is an extension of freedom of speech where the medium of expression is the Internet. Freedom of information may also refer to the right to privacy in the context of the Internet and information technology. As with the right to freedom of expression, the right to privacy is a recognised human right and freedom of information acts as an extension to this right. Freedom of information may also concern censorship in an information technology context, i.e. the ability to access Web content, without censorship or restrictions.
Freedom of information is also explicitly protected by acts such as the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of Ontario, in Canada. The Access to Information Act gives Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and any person or corporation present in Canada a right to access records of government institutions that are subject to the Act. 
The concept of freedom of information has emerged in response to state sponsored censorship, monitoring and surveillance of the internet. Internet censorship includes the control or suppression of the publishing or accessing of information on the Internet. The Global Internet Freedom Consortium claims to remove blocks to the "free flow of information" for what they term "closed societies." According to the Reporters without Borders (RWB) "internet enemy list" the following states engage in pervasive internet censorship: China, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar/Burma, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
A widely publicized example of internet censorship is the "Great Firewall of China" (in reference both to its role as a network firewall and to the ancient Great Wall of China). The system blocks content by preventing IP addresses from being routed through and consists of standard firewall and proxy servers at the Internet gateways. The system also selectively engages in DNS poisoning when particular sites are requested. The government does not appear to be systematically examining Internet content, as this appears to be technically impractical. Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China is conducted under a wide variety of laws and administrative regulations, including more than sixty regulations directed at the Internet. Censorship systems are vigorously implemented by provincial branches of state-owned ISPs, business companies, and organizations.
Challenge of disinformation
Some legal scholars (such as Tim Wu of Columbia University) have argued that the traditional issues of free speech—that "the main threat to free speech" is the censorship of "suppressive states," and that "ill-informed or malevolent speech" can and should be overcome by "more and better speech" rather than censorship—assumes a scarcity of information. This scarcity prevailed during the 20th century, but with the arrival of the internet, information became plentiful, "but the attention of listeners" scarce. And in the words of Wu, this "cheap speech" made possible by the internet " ... may be used to attack, harass, and silence as much as it is used to illuminate or debate."
In the 21st century, the danger is not "suppressive states" that target "speakers directly", but that
targets listeners or it undermines speakers indirectly. More precisely, emerging techniques of speech control depend on (1) a range of new punishments, like unleashing “troll armies” to abuse the press and other critics, and (2) “flooding” tactics (sometimes called “reverse censorship”) that distort or drown out disfavored speech through the creation and dissemination of fake news, the payment of fake commentators, and the deployment of propaganda robots. As journalist Peter Pomerantsev writes, these techniques employ “information ... in weaponized terms, as a tool to confuse, blackmail, demoralize, subvert and paralyze.”
History of dissent and truth
Before the invention of the printing press, a written work, once created, could only be physically multiplied by highly laborious and error-prone manual copying. No elaborate system of censorship and control over scribes existed, who until the 14th century were restricted to religious institutions, and their works rarely caused wider controversy. In response to the printing press, and the theological heresies it allowed to spread, the Roman Catholic Church moved to impose censorship. Printing allowed for multiple exact copies of a work, leading to a more rapid and widespread circulation of ideas and information (see print culture). The origins of copyright law in most European countries lie in efforts by the Roman Catholic Church and governments to regulate and control the output of printers.
In 1501 Pope Alexander VI issued a Bill against the unlicensed printing of books. In 1559 Pope Paul IV promulgated the Index Expurgatorius, or List of Prohibited Books. The Index Expurgatorius is the most famous and long lasting example of "bad books" catalogues issued by the Roman Catholic Church, which presumed to be in authority over private thoughts and opinions, and suppressed views that went against its doctrines. The Index Expurgatorius was administered by the Roman Inquisition, but enforced by local government authorities, and went through 300 editions. Amongst others, it banned or censored books written by René Descartes, Giordano Bruno, Galileo Galilei, David Hume, John Locke, Daniel Defoe, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire. While governments and church encouraged printing in many ways because it allowed for the dissemination of Bibles and government information, works of dissent and criticism could also circulate rapidly. As a consequence, governments established controls over printers across Europe, requiring them to have official licenses to trade and produce books.
The notion that the expression of dissent or subversive views should be tolerated, not censured or punished by law, developed alongside the rise of printing and the press. Areopagitica, published in 1644, was John Milton's response to the Parliament of England's re-introduction of government licensing of printers, hence publishers. Church authorities had previously ensured that Milton's essay on the right to divorce was refused a license for publication. In Areopagitica, published without a license, Milton made an impassioned plea for freedom of expression and toleration of falsehood, stating:
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
Milton's defense of freedom of expression was grounded in a Protestant worldview, and he thought that the English people had the mission to work out the truth of the Reformation, which would lead to the enlightenment of all people. But Milton also articulated the main strands of future discussions about freedom of expression. By defining the scope of freedom of expression and of "harmful" speech Milton argued against the principle of pre-censorship and in favor of tolerance for a wide range of views. Freedom of the press ceased being regulated in England in 1695 when the Licensing Order of 1643 was allowed to expire after the introduction of the Bill of Rights 1689 shortly after the Glorious Revolution. The emergence of publications like the Tatler (1709) and the Spectator (1711) are given credit for creating a 'bourgeois public sphere' in England that allowed for a free exchange of ideas and information.
As the "menace" of printing spread, more governments attempted to centralize control. The French crown repressed printing and the printer Etienne Dolet was burned at the stake in 1546. In 1557 the British Crown thought to stem the flow of seditious and heretical books by chartering the Stationers' Company. The right to print was limited to the members of that guild, and thirty years later the Star Chamber was chartered to curtail the "greate enormities and abuses" of "dyvers contentyous and disorderlye persons professinge the arte or mystere of pryntinge or selling of books." The right to print was restricted to two universities and to the 21 existing printers in the city of London, which had 53 printing presses. As the British crown took control of type founding in 1637 printers fled to the Netherlands. Confrontation with authority made printers radical and rebellious, with 800 authors, printers and book dealers being incarcerated in the Bastille in Paris before it was stormed in 1789.
A succession of English thinkers was at the forefront of early discussion on a right to freedom of expression, among them John Milton (1608–74) and John Locke (1632–1704). Locke established the individual as the unit of value and the bearer of rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. However Locke's ideas evolved primarily around the concept of the right to seek salvation for one's soul, and was thus primarily concerned with theological matters. Locke neither supported a universal toleration of peoples nor freedom of speech; according to his ideas, some groups, such as atheists, should not be allowed.
By the second half of the 17th century philosophers on the European continent like Baruch Spinoza and Pierre Bayle developed ideas encompassing a more universal aspect freedom of speech and toleration than the early English philosophers. By the 18th century the idea of freedom of speech was being discussed by thinkers all over the Western world, especially by French philosophes like Denis Diderot, Baron d'Holbach and Claude Adrien Helvétius. The idea began to be incorporated in political theory both in theory as well as practice; the first state edict in history proclaiming complete freedom of speech was the one issued 4 December 1770 in Denmark-Norway during the regency of Johann Friedrich Struensee. However Struensee himself imposed some minor limitations to this edict on 7 October 1771, and it was even further limited after the fall of Struensee with legislation introduced in 1773, although censorship was not reintroduced.
John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) argued that without human freedom there can be no progress in science, law or politics, which according to Mill required free discussion of opinion. Mill's On Liberty, published in 1859 became a classic defence of the right to freedom of expression. Mill argued that truth drives out falsity, therefore the free expression of ideas, true or false, should not be feared. Truth is not stable or fixed, but evolves with time. Mill argued that much of what we once considered true has turned out false. Therefore, views should not be prohibited for their apparent falsity. Mill also argued that free discussion is necessary to prevent the "deep slumber of a decided opinion". Discussion would drive the onwards march of truth and by considering false views the basis of true views could be re-affirmed. Furthermore, Mill argued that an opinion only carries intrinsic value to the owner of that opinion, thus silencing the expression of that opinion is an injustice to a basic human right. For Mill, the only instance in which speech can be justifiably suppressed is in order to prevent harm from a clear and direct threat. Neither economic or moral implications, nor the speakers own well-being would justify suppression of speech.
In her 1906 biography of Voltaire, Evelyn Beatrice Hall coined the following sentence to illustrate Voltaire's beliefs: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Hall's quote is frequently cited to describe the principle of freedom of speech. Noam Chomsky stated, "If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don't like. Dictators such as Stalin and Hitler, were in favor of freedom of speech for views they liked only. If you're in favor of freedom of speech, that means you're in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise." Lee Bollinger argues that "the free speech principle involves a special act of carving out one area of social interaction for extraordinary self-restraint, the purpose of which is to develop and demonstrate a social capacity to control feelings evoked by a host of social encounters." Bollinger argues that tolerance is a desirable value, if not essential. However, critics argue that society should be concerned by those who directly deny or advocate, for example, genocide (see limitations above).
As chairman of the London-based PEN International, a club which defends freedom of expression and a free press, English author H. G. Wells met with Stalin in 1934 and was hopeful of reform in the Soviet Union. However, during their meeting in Moscow Wells said, "the free expression of opinion—even of opposition opinion, I do not know if you are prepared yet for that much freedom here."
The 1928 novel Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence was banned for obscenity in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada and India. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, it was the subject of landmark court rulings which saw the ban for obscenity overturned. Dominic Sandbrook of The Telegraph in the UK wrote, "Now that public obscenity has become commonplace, it is hard to recapture the atmosphere of a society that saw fit to ban books such as Lady Chatterley's Lover because it was likely to 'deprave and corrupt' its readers." Fred Kaplan of The New York Times stated the overturning of the obscenity laws "set off an explosion of free speech" in the U.S. The 1960s also saw the Free Speech Movement, a massive long-lasting student protest on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley during the 1964–65 academic year.
In contrast to Anglophone nations, France was a haven for literary freedom. The innate French regard for the mind meant that France was disinclined to punish literary figures for their writing, and prosecutions were rare. While it was prohibited everywhere else, James Joyce’s Ulysses was published in Paris in 1922. Henry Miller’s 1934 novel Tropic of Cancer (banned in the U.S. until 1963) and Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley's Lover were published in France decades before they were available in the respective authors' home countries.
In 1964 comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested in the U.S. due to complaints again pertaining to his use of various obscenities. A three-judge panel presided over his widely publicized six-month trial in which he was found guilty of obscenity in November 1964. He was sentenced on 21 December 1964, to four months in a workhouse. He was set free on bail during the appeals process and died before the appeal was decided. On 23 December 2003, thirty-seven years after Bruce's death, New York Governor George Pataki granted him a posthumous pardon for his obscenity conviction.
In the United States, the right to freedom of expression has been interpreted to include the right to take and publish photographs of strangers in public areas without their permission or knowledge. This is not the case worldwide.
Freedom of speech on college campuses
In July 2014, the University of Chicago released the "Chicago Statement," a free speech policy statement designed to combat censorship on campus. This statement was later adopted by a number of top-ranked universities including Princeton University, Washington University in St. Louis, Johns Hopkins University, and Columbia University.
Commentators such as Vox's Zack Beauchamp and Chris Quintana, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, have disputed the assumption that college campuses are facing a "free-speech crisis."
- Academic freedom
- Artistic freedom
- The Confessionals
- Cancel culture
- Child pornography
- Digital rights
- Election silence
- Everybody Draw Mohammed Day
- Forced or compelled speech
- Freedom of thought
- Global Network Initiative
- Hate speech
- Heckler's veto
- IFEX (organization)
- Illegal number
- Je suis Charlie
- Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy
- Jamal Khashoggi
- Legality of Holocaust denial
- Post–World War II legality of Nazi flags
- Bans on communist symbols
- Market for loyalties theory
- Media transparency
- No Platform
- Open court principle
- Paradox of tolerance
- Photography Is Not a Crime
- Pirate Party
- Political correctness
- Safety of journalists
- Stanley v. Georgia
- Symbolic speech
- Victimless crime
- "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". www.un.org. 6 October 2015.
- Fee, James V. (January 1973). "Book reviews". Today's Speech. 21 (1): 45–48. doi:10.1080/01463377309369084. ISSN 0040-8573.
- "Article 19". International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, entry into force 23 March 1976. 23 March 1976. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- van Mill, David (1 January 2016). Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2016 ed.).
- Smith, David (5 February 2006). "Timeline: a history of free speech". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Raaflaub, Kurt; Ober, Josiah; Wallace, Robert (2007). Origins of democracy in ancient Greece. University of California Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-520-24562-4.
- M. P. Charlesworth (March 1943). "Freedom of Speech in Republican Rome". The Classical Review. The Classical Association. 57 (1): 49. doi:10.1017/s0009840x00311283.
- Ofir Haivry and Yoram Hazony: What Is Conservatism? American Affairs Summer 2017 / Volume I, Number 2.
- "Bill of Rights 1689". Parliament UK. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Williams, E. N. (1960). The Eighteenth-Century Constitution. 1688–1815. Cambridge University Press. pp. 26–29. OCLC 1146699.
- ""The Freedom of the Press Act", Sveriges Riksdag". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
- Fortress Europe? – Circular Letter. "FECL 15 (May 1993): The Swedish Tradition of Freedom of Press". Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- "The World's First Freedom of Information Act (Sweden/Finland 1766)". Scribd. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- "Freedom of Speech". HISTORY. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
- Arthur W. Diamond Law Library at Columbia Law School (26 March 2008). "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen". Hrcr.org. www.hrcr.org. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- United Nations (10 September 1948). "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights". UN.org. www.un.org. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- Andrew Puddephatt, Freedom of Expression, The essentials of Human Rights, Hodder Arnold, 2005, p. 128
- Brett, Sebastian (1999). Limits to tolerance: freedom of expression and the public debate in Chile. Human Rights Watch. p. xxv. ISBN 978-1-56432-192-3.
- New Yorker, 14 May 1960, p. 109
- Sanders, Karen (2003). Ethics & Journalism. Sage. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7619-6967-9.
- Nossel, Suzanne (28 July 2020). Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All. HarperCollins. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-06-296606-3.
- Marlin, Randal (2002). Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion. Broadview Press. pp. 226–27. ISBN 978-1551113760.
- Marlin, Randal (2002). Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion. Broadview Press. p. 226. ISBN 978-1551113760.
- Marlin, Randal (2002). Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion. Broadview Press. pp. 228–29. ISBN 978-1551113760.
- "A Decade of Measuring the Quality of Governance" (PDF). World Bank. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 April 2008.
- Matschke, Alexander (25 December 2014). "Freedom of expression promotes democracy". D+C Development and Cooperation.
- Marlin, Randal (2002). Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion. Broadview Press. p. 229. ISBN 978-1551113760.
- Church members enter Canada, aiming to picket bus victim's funeral, CBC News, 8 August 2008.
- "Freedom of Speech". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- Mill, John Stuart (1859). "Introductory". On Liberty (4th ed.). London: Longman, Roberts & Green (published 1869). para. 5.
Society can and does execute its own mandates ... it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough...
- Mill, John Stuart (1859). "Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion". On Liberty (4th ed.). London: Longman, Roberts & Green (published 1869). para. 19.
In respect to all persons but those whose pecuniary circumstances make them independent of the good will of other people, opinion, on this subject, is as efficacious as law; men might as well be imprisoned, as excluded from the means of earning their bread.
- Ten Cate, Irene M. (2010). "Speech, Truth, and Freedom: An Examination of John Stuart Mill's and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes's Free Speech Defenses". Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities. 22 (1). Article 2.
[A] central argument for freedom of speech in On Liberty is that in order to maximize the benefits a society can gain ... it must permanently commit to restraining dominant groups from their natural inclination to demand conformity.
- Wragg, Paul (2015). "Free Speech Rights at Work: Resolving the Differences between Practice and Liberal Principle". Industrial Law Journal. Oxford University Press. 44 (1): 11. doi:10.1093/indlaw/dwu031.
Comparison may be made between Mill's 'tyrannical majority' and the employer who dismisses an employee for expression that it dislikes on moral grounds. The protection of employer action in these circumstances evokes Mill's concern about state tolerance of coercive means to ensure conformity with orthodox moral viewpoints and so nullify unorthodox ones.
- Harcourt. "Conclusion". The Collapse of the Harm Principle. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- Doomen 2014, pp. 111, 112.
- Kenneth Einar Himma. "Philosophy of Law". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "Italian Parliament introduces holocaust denial legislation". UPI. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
- Chase Winter (26 October 2018). "Calling Prophet Muhammad a pedophile does not fall within freedom of speech: European court". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
An Austrian woman's conviction for calling the Prophet Muhammad a pedophile did not violate her freedom of speech, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday.
- Lucia I. Suarez Sang (26 October 2018). "Defaming Muhammad does not fall under purview of free speech, European court rules". Fox News. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
The freedom of speech does not extend to include defaming the prophet of Islam, the European Court of Human rights ruled Thursday.
- Bojan Pancevski (26 October 2018). "Europe Court Upholds Ruling Against Woman Who Insulted Islam". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
Europe’s highest human rights court ruled on Friday that disparagement of religious doctrines such as insulting the Prophet Muhammad isn’t protected by freedom of expression and can be prosecuted.
- Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969)
- Jasper 1999, p. 32. sfn error: no target: CITEREFJasper1999 (help)
- Brandenburg, at 447
- Brandenburg, at 450–01
- Lewis 2007, p. 124.
- "ABA Division for Public Education: Students: Debating the "Mighty Constitutional Opposites": Hate Speech Debate". www.americanbar.org. Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
- Emanuel, Steven L. (25 March 2020). Emanuel Crunchtime for Constitutional Law. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business. pp. 153–154. ISBN 978-1-5438-0727-1.
- Marcotte, John (1 May 2007). "free speech flag". Badmouth. Archived from the original on 4 May 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- Glanville, Jo (17 November 2008). "The big business of net censorship". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- Godwin, Mike (2003). Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age. MIT Press. pp. 349–52. ISBN 0-262-57168-4.
- Rowland, Diane (2005). Information Technology Law. Routledge-Cavendish. pp. 463–65. ISBN 978-1859417560.
- Klang, Mathias; Murray, Andrew (2005). Human Rights in the Digital Age. Routledge. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-904385-31-8.
- Guibault, Lucy; Hugenholtz, Bernt (2006). The future of the public domain: identifying the commons in information law. Kluwer Law International. p. 1. ISBN 9789041124357.
- Clarke, Ian; Miller, Scott G.; Hong, Theodore W.; Sandberg, Oskar; Wiley, Brandon (2002). "Protecting Free Expression Online with Freenet" (PDF). Internet Computing. IEEE. pp. 40–49.
- Pauli, Darren (14 January 2008). "Industry rejects Australian gov't sanitized Internet measure". The Industry Standard. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012.
- Martin, Robert; Adam, G. Stuart (1994). A Sourcebook of Canadian Media Law. McGill-Queen's Press. pp. 232–34. ISBN 0886292387.
- Deibert, Robert; Palfrey, John G; Rohozinski, Rafal; Zittrain, Jonathan (2008). Access denied: the practice and policy of global Internet filtering. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0262541961.
- "Our Mission". Global Internet Freedom Consortium. Archived from the original on 27 September 2017.
- "Internet Enemies" (PDF). Paris: Reporters Without Borders. March 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 March 2011.
- Watts, Jonathan (20 February 2006). "War of the words". The Guardian. London.
- "II. How Censorship Works in China: A Brief Overview". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 30 August 2006.
- "Chinese Laws and Regulations Regarding Internet". Archived from the original on 20 February 2012.
- Wu, Tim (1 September 2017). "Is the First Amendment Obsolete?". Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
- Yaffa, Joshua (7 September 2020). "Is Russian Meddling as Dangerous as We Think?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
- "What things regulate speech" (PDF). Retrieved 12 January 2021.
- "The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money". Retrieved 12 January 2021.
- de Sola Pool, Ithiel (1983). Technologies of freedom. Harvard University Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-674-87233-2.
- MacQueen, Hector L; Waelde, Charlotte; Laurie, Graeme T (2007). Contemporary Intellectual Property: Law and Policy. Oxford University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-19-926339-4.
- "6. Henric van Cuyck, Bishop of Roermond (1546–1609). Panegyricae orationes septem. Louvain: Philippus Zangrius, 1596". Ecclesiastical Censorship, "Heresy and Error": The Ecclesiastical Censorship of Books, 1400–1800. Bridwell Library. 17 December 2000. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
- Castillo, Anastasia (2010). Banned Books: Censorship in Eighteenth-Century England. GRIN Verlag. p. 12. ISBN 978-3-640-71688-3.
- Sanders, Karen (2003). Ethics & Journalism. Sage. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-7619-6967-9.
- "13. John Milton (1608–1674). Areopagitica; A Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc'd Printing, to the Parlament of England. London: [s.n.], 1644". Early Censorship in England, "Heresy and Error": The Ecclesiastical Censorship of Books, 1400–1800. Bridwell Library. 17 December 2000. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
- "The index of expurgations". "Heresy and Error": The Ecclesiastical Censorship of Books, 1400–1800. Bridwell Library. 17 December 2000. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
- "52. Jacobus de Voragine (c. 1230–1298). Legenda aurea sanctorum. Madrid: Juan Garcia, 1688". The Index of Expurgations, "Heresy and Error": The Ecclesiastical Censorship of Books, 1400–1800. Bridwell Library. 17 December 2000. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
- Rayner, Gordon (7 October 2011). "Leveson Inquiry: British press freedom is a model for the world, editor tells inquiry". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
Mr Rusbridger said: “When people talk about licensing journalists or newspapers the instinct should be to refer them to history. Read about how licensing of the press in Britain was abolished in 1695.
- Nelson, Fraser (24 November 2012). "David Blunkert warns MPs against regulating the Press". The Spectator. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
Jeremy Paxman famously said he went into journalism after hearing that the relationship between a journalist and a politician was akin to that of a dog and a lamppost. Several MPs now want to replace this with a principle whereby MPs define the parameters under which the press operates – and “work together”. It is a hideous idea that must be resisted. The last time this happened was under the Licensing Order of 1643, which was allowed to expire in 1695 after the introduction of the 1688 Bill of Rights shortly after the Glorious Revolution. As I wrote in my Daily Telegraph column yesterday, it’s amazing that so many Tory MPs should want to turn the clock back 300 years.
- de Sola Pool, Ithiel (1983). Technologies of freedom. Harvard University Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-674-87233-2.
- Jonathan Israel (2002). Radical Enlightenment. Oxford University Press. pp. 265–67.
- Jennings, Martin (7 November 2017). "Orwell statue unveiled". BBC. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
- Jonathan Israel (2006). Enlightenment Contested. Oxford University Press. pp. 155ff, 781ff.
- Jonathan Israel (2010). A Revolution of the Mind. Princeton University Press. p. 76. ISBN 9780691142005.
- H. Arnold Barton (1986). Scandinavia in the Revolutionary Era – 1760–1815. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 90–91. ISBN 9780816613922.
- Sanders, Karen (2003). Ethics & Journalism. Sage. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-7619-6967-9.
- Warburton, Nigel (2009). Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford. pp. 24–29. ISBN 978-0-19-923235-2.
- Boller, Jr., Paul F.; George, John (1989). They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 124–26. ISBN 0-19-505541-1.
- Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick (1992). Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media.
- Bollinger, Lee C. (1986). The Tolerant Society: Freedom of Speech and Extremist Speech in America. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195040007.
- Freedom of Speech in Russia: Politics and Media from Gorbachev to Putin. Taylor & Francis, 25. 2016. p. 142.
- Sandbrook, Dominic (16 October 2010). "Lady Chatterley trial - 50 years on. The filthy book that set us free and fettered us forever". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
Though few then could have realised it, a tiny but unmistakeable line runs from the novel Lawrence wrote in the late 1920s to an international pornography industry today worth more than £26 billion a year. Now that public obscenity has become commonplace, it is hard to recapture the atmosphere of a society that saw fit to ban books such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover because it was likely to “deprave and corrupt” its readers. Although only half a century separates us from Harold Macmillan’s Britain, the world of 1960 can easily seem like ancient history. In a Britain when men still wore heavy grey suits, working women were still relatively rare and the Empire was still, just, a going concern, D H Lawrence’s book was merely one of many banned because of its threat to public morality.
- Kaplan, Fred (20 July 2009). "The Day Obscenity Became Art". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
TODAY is the 50th anniversary of the court ruling that overturned America’s obscenity laws, setting off an explosion of free speech — and also, in retrospect, splashing cold water on the idea, much discussed during Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, that judges are “umpires” rather than agents of social change.
- "Berkeley FSM | Free Speech Movement 50th Anniversary". fsm.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- "Dirty books and literary freedom: The Lady Chatterley publisher who beat the censors". BBC. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
- "Lenny Bruce Gets 4 Months In Jail". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- Minnis, Glenn "Lenny Bruce Pardoned", CBS News/Associated Press, 23 December 2003. Retrieved 8 September 2019
- Kenworthy, Bill (April 2012). "Photography & First Amendment". Newseum Institute.
- "Photographers' Rights". aclu.org. American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
Taking photographs and video of things that are plainly visible in public spaces is a constitutional right—and that includes transportation facilities, the outside of federal buildings, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties. Unfortunately, law enforcement officers have been known to ask people to stop taking photographs of public places. Those who fail to comply have sometimes been harassed, detained, and arrested. Other people have ended up in FBI databases for taking innocuous photographs of public places.
- "Chicago Statement: University and Faculty Body Support". FIRE. 15 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- Lindsay, Tom. "35 Universities Adopt 'The Chicago Statement' On Free Speech--1,606 To Go". Forbes. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- Beauchamp, Zack (31 August 2018). "The myth of a campus free speech crisis". Vox. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- Quintana, Chris (30 April 2018). "The Real Free-Speech Crisis Is Professors Being Disciplined for Liberal Views, a Scholar Finds". The Chronicle of Higher Education. ISSN 0009-5982. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- Curtis, Michael Kent (2000). Free Speech, "The People's Darling Privilege": Struggles for Freedom of Expression in American History. Duke University Press. ISBN 0822325292.
- Doomen, Jasper (2014). Freedom and Equality in a Liberal Democratic State. Bruylant. ISBN 9782802746232.
- Godwin, Mike (2003). Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age. MIT Press. ISBN 0262571684.
- Grossman, Wendy M. (1997). Net.wars. New York University Press. ISBN 0814731031.
- Kors, Alan Charles (2008). "Freedom of Speech". In Hamowy, Ronald (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE; Cato Institute. pp. 182–85. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n112. ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4. LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024.
- Lewis, Anthony (2007). Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment. Basic Books. ISBN 9780465039173. OCLC 494134545.
- McLeod, Kembrew (2007). Freedom of Expression: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property. Lawrence Lessig (foreword). University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0816650316.
- Nelson, Samuel P. (2005). Beyond the First Amendment: The Politics of Free Speech and Pluralism. The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801881730.
- Semeraro, Pietro (2009). L'esercizio di un diritto. Giuffre Milano.
- Shaw, Caroline. "Freedom of expression and the palladium of British liberties, 1650–2000: A review essay" History Compass (Oct 2020) online
- Article19.org, Global Campaign for Free Expression.
- Free Speech Debate, a research project of the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom at St Antony's College in the University of Oxford.
- Index on Censorship, an international organisation that promotes and defends the right to freedom of expression.
- Media Freedom Navigator: Media Freedom Indices at a Glance, Deutsche Welle Akademie.
- Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Organization of American States.