10 idiotic arguments against freedom of speech.


1. Support is Not Agreement

Just because someone supports a persons right to express their opinions does not mean that they support their views. This includes speech which one might find offensive. I dont care what a person has to say as long as they aren't calling for violence. This excuse is the most common one that anti free speech people use, Especially the likes of Antifa. Basically if you're in favor of freedom of speech, you support speech you dont like, if you dont support speech you dont like than you are not in support of freedom of speech.

2. Criticism is NOT Anti-Free Speech.

Believe it or not a person can disagree with you, and it doesn't hurt you. There is nothing wrong with disagreement. A lot of the left are absolutists. They believe that disagreement equates to racism, and hate speech. Disagreement, and debate are our basic tools for learning. Some people on here and in the world would do well to understand that. Sadly there are too many people on both sides of the fence that have the belief that "you better believe what i believe or you're literally Hitler."

3. You Just Want Freedom From Consequences

This is one which is a gross misinterpretation of the reality of free speech. Speech no matter what you say, carries consequences. Should there be legal consequences for racism... Sexism... Homophobia? No, but you are not free from suffering social consequences from harboring such beliefs. Some places (Cough Cough the UK) have actual laws against offensive speech.. The issue with that is Offense is purely subjective. Whats offensive to you, or to me might not be offensive to some random person, so who gets to decide whats offensive.. No one should have the right to make that kind of judgement, Especially when political bias is involved.

4. The BUT

When a person says "I'm in favor of free speech but..." Stop right there, You either are, or you aren't, There is no grey area..

5. Mr. Fascist, Please Save Me From The Fascists

This one is a head scratcher. You have people on the far left claiming anything right of what they are, are fascists, and they demand laws and safe spaces to protect them against fascism.. Basically they want more fascism to combat what they see as fascism.. Its incredibly stupid. You can't have it both ways.. you cannot fight fascism with fascism.. it simply does not work like that. Going around calling to ban things you dont like is literally fascism..

6. Oh Irony

More of the same as number 5.. They want government to have full control over our speech so they can make laws preventing fascism.. Allowing our government to control our speech is the definition of fascism..

7. The Victim 180

When someone is obviously against free speech, and their rules get used against them they come out and beg for help from those of us that are for freedom of speech.. You made your own bed..

8. You Have The Right To Remain Offended

One of the stupidest arguments i have ever heard was one coined by a famous journalist when talking to Jordan Peterson. She said "Why should your right to free speech trump a trans persons right to not be offended" The thing is Offense is never given, only taken, You have the right to choose not to be offended, but you do not have the right to tell someone what they can and cannot say. Freedom of speech exists specifically to protect offensive speech. Our founding fathers understood that. Its time people are reminded of that. Bottom line is this... There is no such thing as the right to not be offended.

9. The Empty Room Fallacy

Another idiotic one.. Say you're in a country where freedom of speech does not exist.. Which is literally every single nation but the US. And say you can't say X Y or Z in public because its banned, but you can say it in an empty room, that some how means that you have freedom of speech. Complete nonsense.. Basically extreme leftists, antifa, and feminists that use this argument dont understand what freedom of speech actually is. Which is the freedom to communicate in what ever manor you wish, what ever information you wish.

10. Private Companies Can Do What They Want

This one is actually true.. No matter how wrong it is, private companies can remove speech they deem offensive. Freedom of speech applies to public, and government control. A police officer cannot arrest you for offensive speech, but if you say something on a company web site like Twitter, or Facebook, or even here on GAG, they have the right to remove what you say, and even ban you. It doesn't make it right, but its true. The issue i have with it honestly, is the fact that when these policies are applied, they are rarely applied in a fair, and just manor, its usually used to silence disagreement. Its used in a hypocritical way.

10 idiotic arguments against freedom of speech.
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Most Helpful Guy

  • OlderAndWiser
    Absolutely great discussion!
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Girl

  • Great Take🙆🙋🎀
    Is this still revelant?
    • Thanks my friend!!

    • You REALLY broke it all down! Well done 👏

    • Many thanks!!

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • WhistleForTheChoir
    1) Totally agree. "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it," - Voltaire. Although, I would add THREATENING violence as speech that should be illegal. If you threaten someone, then not only can they act in self-defense, you can also be prosecuted if they would rather not risk a physical confrontation (say if they were a woman, or outnumbered, or a small guy versus a big guy). I don't even think "libel" or "slander" laws should exist, as unfortunate as the consequences of that might be.

    2) Someone calling another person's opinion racist is just more criticism. Them calling you a racist or even "Hitler" is also free speech.

    3) Thank you! This is the one that most people miss. Although, I would say this is more a problem with right-wingers who believe that Hollywood or Youtube are violating their freedom of speech. If someone gets fired or censored on social media for espousing a view, that is not a violation of free speech. Free speech is a contract between an individual and their government, NOT their employer or any private business.

    4) Agree, everything said before "but" doesn't count.

    5) I don't know if you understand what "fascism" is, which is fair as it's pretty hard to define. "Fascism" is a type of political style, not a set of policies (don't rely on the dictionary definition for this, it's wrong). It's like "populism" or "elitism", and it's generally a feature of the far-right. The same way populism unites the majority against those viewed as "elites", fascism unites the majority with a sense of national pride against those viewed as "foreign" or "outsiders" or in a lot of historical cases minorities, whether ethnic or religious, usually involving elements of victimhood or national humiliation, and the need for a strong dictatorial "defender of the nation". It's a way to get power not necessarily what one does with it. It's also not a violation of free speech for someone to call another a fascist, as the accuser's speech is also defended.

    6) I don't know anyone who makes this argument. I'm sure you could find examples, but I think it would be a case of "nut-picking". The overwhelming majority of Westerners (and even educated people who live in countries where speech is limited) don't believe this.

    7) That's not an argument against free speech. But I agree with the point.

    8) That's a really dumb quote on the part of the journalist. I totally agree. I like your last sentence here.

    9) Agreed. That is one area where the United States is still #1 or at least tied for #1. Our freedom of speech is paramount.

    10) Agreed, with the first part, and again, thank you for pointing this out. However in the second part, I would say that they are applied as fairly as is possible. How much new content do you think Facebook or Twitter or Youtube gets every day? The things that get removed are generally things that get a lot of attention. And since some people on the right are generally more susceptible to harmful conspiracy theories (due to distrusting the government) and hate speech (due to racist attitudes that have been long-held and even tacitly, subtly or explicitly endorsed by some leadership on the right), the videos that cater to those audiences become bigger, more noticeable problems than their left-wing counterparts. Alex Jones, while maybe not "right-wing" himself, caters and appeals to a right-wing audience, and he is just a few steps below being a house-hold name, and he literally encourages people to harass the parents of murdered children. Probably someone a company would come down on. The ecoterrorist hippy who sells crystals and organic bath soaps while talking about blowing up buildings just is generating that level of buzz.
    • I am a bit more right leaning then left.. Like center right.. And i cannot stand Alex Jones.. Like at all. He has a right to talk but come on Gay frogs?

    • I tend to be on the left on most issues (except guns), but I can recognize that there are crazy people on my side of the aisle. I think the biggest problem with both sides of the aisle aren't crazy or malicious though... just lazy fucking idiots who aren't paying attention while politicians on both sides of the aisle sell the people up the river. Being a citizen and a voter in a democracy is a responsibility, and a too many people now don't take that responsibility seriously.

      And yeah, Alex Jones needs to get fucking washed. He's just doing it to sell vitamins. Stirring people up all the goddamn time. Same with Cenk Uygur on the left. Aren't Americans stirred up over every goddamn thing enough? I'm living abroad right. I love America, but I can't handle Americans lately, like I got 300 million brothers and sisters with a drinking problem, I needed a break.

    • @ your last paragraph there.. Yeah i definitely agree.. I am planning on a long vacation away soon as well.. its nuts..

      On a side note, i use to be very left leaning my self, until the extreme left started to become more common. I honestly can't stand any politics any more. Too many vicious people on both sides.

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  • Ok but then is it free speech for everyone? We teach our kids not to swear. Not to bully. Not to raise their voice in anger. Not to call people names because it's not nice. But then us adults do it? There's a way to argue a point, disagree, without resorting to attacking someone verbally. So either practice what we preach, or kids can swear, call people names, insult to get their point across too 🤷🏼‍♀️
    • Aye i agree, on the same token should people be condemned to jail for being a jerk?

    • Well no, maybe a fine... Kind of like money in the swear jar 😁

    • as long as its not a law that enforces or bans any kind of speech. I am all for societal consequences, but the moment we start making laws controlling speech, is the moment we become the fascists that every one is afraid of.

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  • hellionthesagereborn
    My argument for free speech is simple, either you believe what your saying is true or you don't. If you don't then you want to control others speech. The fact of the matter is you cannot say something is true and then be afraid to test the veracity of it. I believe it was Thomas Aquinas who said, "The truth is a lion, you don't need to protect it, just let it out of its cage and it will do the rest.". That is freedom of speech in a nut shell, if what your saying is right then it doesn't matter who tries to argue against it, either it will persever and will be accepted as the truth that it clearly is, or its wrong and it will be destroyed.

    Cowards and liars fear free speech because they have the most to lose, cowards because they have no faith in their beliefs, and liars because they know they are peddling falsehoods. Either way, Freedom of speech is the corner stone of all rights because without speech we do not have communication of thoughts, opinions, and information and an uninformed populace will never be able to make informed decisions and that only benefits the corrupt never the people.
  • NineBreaker
    I think one very unfortunate thing is that for many, freedom of speech is paramount, and is the most important right that should be protected, but only when it's their speech, and theirs alone. It's just another expression of human hypocrisy.
  • vannefftor
    Freedom of speech is inaliable. EVERYTHING is on the table. It doesn't natter if you agree with someone or not. Defaming, slander, or liable speech is one thinf but they are rare instances. The Alex Joneses of the world can speak about whatever the hell their tinfoil hats are spewing iut up until they start calling mass shooting victims' parents liars - then you're crossing lines.
  • Shamalien
    fuck sometimes I really wish we had the rights that Americans have in my country...
    • Can I ask, where are you from?

    • Shamalien


    • No free speech in Canada?

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  • sp33d
    "A lot of the left are absolutists"
    mixed with..
    "I'm in favor of free speech but..." Stop right there, You either are, or you aren't, There is no grey area.."

    Shall we make the classical false inference? :D

    I'm actually not a racist, but..
  • genericname85
    there is a problem with free speech right now with covid 19. alternative opinions are litterally censored cause their oppinions are deemed to be comspiracy or "dangerous" even if they are experts in the field with the qualifications, citations and professional prestige to back up their position that covid 19 is not as dangerous as the media and politics claims it to be.

    i think you are doing a good job of dispelling the missconceptions about free speech. free speech doesn't mean you can say whatever the fuck you want however loud you want, every time you want. there's rules to civil discourse. many people don't get that.
    • bolverk

      Many going through Universities & Colleges these day no longer taught the rules of civil discourse because their 'Professors' & 'Lecturers' do not want to arm their students with the skills to contest what B-ll Shit they are 'teaching'.

    • @bolverk oh yes. i happen to go through university right now. went back to school and i'm now in the last semester of my masters.

      i don't realize that here in germany so much. there are "some" professors, that put their personal opinion over other empirical sources that are equally or more valid. but those one or 2 professors that i know do that, are explicit about their personal bias. by that they in my opinion teach people to think critically for themselves and realize, that even professors can have opinions, that might not be right. but in either case, there can still be a respectfull civil discourse, because the professors are transparent about their personal opinion.

      i see this way more in American culture. i mean i don't live there but i often see debates, where professors and doctors speak, that they do not even know the rules of civil discourse. they sell their "opinion" as "the only truth", event hough not even the collegues in their field agree with what they say. they lie and misspresent facts a lot.

      when i see those debates, i often feel sort of powerless... because nobody seems to critique that or tries to enforce the rules of civil discourse, because if they do, they are often accused of censorship, when all they try is having a civil conversation.
      it's kind of this victimizing bullshit thing that is often used to censor other peoples opinion, while appealing to free speech at the same time. as if the only "free speech" can be that speech, which agrees with you.

    • @bolverk kind of makes me wonder, how some of those individuals even got their title... what shitty university they must have gone to.

  • Sensmind
    I am with you on 9 out of the 10 points but disagree with you on point 4, there is a "But" , "A Grey Area". You say you are for all Free Speech except where they are calling for violence, playing total Devil's Advocate here and going to extremes for emphasis say what you say creates a platform or atmosphere for violence against certain groups, ok that is my left argument now my right argument which exactly agrees with you basically "Who Guards The Guardians", we have enough examples in history where just causes and those who supported them were troublemakers (Early labour laws , health and safety in mines and factories centuries back)
    So I have totally shown I am in a complete quandry , stuck in the middle maybe in fairness leaning towards Free Speech but I am sorry I cannot in good conscience get past point 4. Do I have a solution, haha I will move on to that after I figure out meaning of life.
    If you were pedantic and said "One or the other" , I would chose Free Speech.
  • Gabrielkatz795
    I'm with you on this one. So much of what we say nowadays is controlled by laws and bais and opinions and we never really get free speech at the end of the day. And all the people who say "actually we do have free speech." are lying to themselves. For example if you went out into a restaurant and cursed out or said something that someone found inappropriate out loud, you'd either be asked by a staff member or another customer to shut up or leave, I know because I've had to do this before on demand of a customer as a waiter but that's not freedom of speech that's silencing. which is not only rude, in its own way but also denying someone of their rights to be free and have their own thoughts and opinions.
    I disagree with #3. Sexual harassment is often caused by verbal sexual abuse. It is not free speech. There are laws even in the United States that prevent this and will prosecute those who seek to violate an individual's rights of being free from any kind of harassment. Racism is often also means to harassment. No one has a right to persecute an individual based on their race.

    #5 and #6 are wrong as well. Fascism is not totalitarianism. Two different social media. Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. Where as totalitarianism is a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state. Neither are good and both can take away rights from the people.
    • #9 is wrong as well.

      Freedom of speech is the concept of the inherent human right to voice one's opinion publicly without fear of censorship or punishment. "Speech" is not limited to public speaking and is generally taken to include other forms of expression. The right is preserved in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is granted formal recognition by the laws of most nations. Nonetheless the degree to which the right is upheld in practice varies greatly from one nation to another. In many nations, particularly those with authoritarian forms of government, overt government censorship is enforced. Censorship has also been claimed to occur in other forms (see propaganda model) and there are different approaches to issues such as hate speech, obscenity, and defamation laws.

      The following list is partially composed of the respective countries' government claims and does not necessarily reflect the de facto situation.

      Many nations can be found on this website wich sites the exact laws on how freedom of speech is viewed.

      The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, provides, in Article 19, 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.

    • you're conflating sexism with verbal sexual harassment, Two entirely different things. So 3 is not wrong.. at no point in 3 does it mention anything about harassment nor sexual harassment.

    • Unfortunately #10 is accurate.

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  • Hunter7754
    Well said. All the college kids protesting free speech are biting the very hand that feeds them.
  • SecretGardenBlood65
    Good take.
  • Liam_Hayden
    Wonderful points.