How Much Freedom of Speech Should People Be Allowed?

In some countries racist, anti-LGBT and sexist groups are under stricter supervision than other political groups. In addition not every opinions are allowed to be expressed in the public. In Germany a Nazi salute or denying Holocaust are illegal, but in some other countries it's not. It also depends from country to country which books and articles are allowed to be published. So what's most important here between regulating it with laws to respect people's feelings and allowing them to do so and respecting the freedom speech? Please explain WHY.

In my country it's illegal to express racist, ableism, anti-LGBT, anti-religion, sexist, anti-nationality and anti-ethnic opinions. A person may get an expensive fine or get imprisoned for a year. It's however legal to criticize your own and another country's government and politics. It's also legal to argument for why your culture is good as long you're not hating on others culture. So criticizing a culture for breaking the human's rights are legal. It's legal to say a religion don't follow the human's rights very well or needs to be updated, but saying you don't like Muslims, Jews or Christians for instance can put you in trouble. My country is a democracy and this law is less strict than the German one. Very few gets arrested for breaking the law, but in theory a lot of people could end up in prison if the authority wanted to.

#FreedomSpeech #Nazi #Racism
How Much Freedom of Speech Should People Be Allowed?
Updates:
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My opinion: Violence, false warnings like screaming "fire", "he stole my bag" etc. when it's not true, encouraging people to do violence or terror etc. shouldn't be legal. But apart from that people should be allowed full freedom speech, but people should also be allowed to tell others they're not agree or boycott that person's business if they wants to. Off course hating isn't good, but fining and imprison none-violent people is contradictory to the freedom speech and democracy thing.
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There's also a difference between saying "Blue people makes me uncomfortable"/"I don't like blue people because they're..." and saying "Kill the blue people". There are a difference between expressing your opinions and encouraging violence or sending death threats. If you bullies your coworkers, your boss can fire you if s/he wants to. There aren't any needs of any police involvement here. What's offensive/bad are subjective, so an anti-hate law can be a problem. Saying "idiot" is legal though.

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What Girls Said 21

  • I'm in favor of protecting most speech under the 1st amendment.

    But that doesn't mean people can say whatever they want without social consequences. Extreme speech will always be criticized.

    I don't think very much speech requires legal sanction.

    At the same time, I can appreciate why other countries may have different needs for control.

    It's a subtle balance.

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      Everything, we should be allowed to say all we want. No matter the ideology or opinion

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    • 2d

      @Rocky1998 There's not a single sane person who would not consider a mass panic danger. You seriously need to pull your head out of your ass.

    • 2d

      Not gonna argue about such stupid thing anymore

  • My belief is that your rights end where another person's rights begin. I. e. if you're making someone feel unsafe, harassed, harmed, stalked, threatened etc, then you're not protected by freedom of speech anymore. Freedom of speech also does not mean that nobody else has the right to criticize you or your opinions, and that there are no consequences to what you say. Freedom of speech is a two-way street in that sense. To simplify it: you have the right to express your hatred for pizza, but that doesn't mean nobody has the right to disagree with you, or express counter-arguments for why they think pizza is awesome.

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    • 21h

      Your statement makes me feel unsafe, so do you deserve to be censored? I mean your creating a vague rule based upon subjective feelings of an individual with their own bias and motivations, who are also flawed and potentially have ill intent rather then using objective based facts and reasoning. That can and has been abused in the past and present, so that makes me feel unsafe and uncomfortable and threatened that you could use that to harm me or others, should you be censored?

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    • 12h

      "if you're making someone FEEL unsafe, harassed, harmed, stalked, threatened etc, then you're not protected by freedom of speech anymore.", as I said you stated feel. FEEL. That's the issue because you cannot quantify feelings they are not objective. That's the issue.

    • 6h

      @hellionthesagereborn and like I said, you’re talking about SEMANTICS. I already gave you examples of what I meant. If that’s not enough for you, you can leave.

  • None, sure there are opinions that will offend someone out there somewhere but that is the price you have to have that freedom of speech. Our ancestors had learned what happens when speech is censored and is exactly the reason why its built into almost every first-world's countries rights. Once you start censoring some speech, you're censoring all speech.

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      You do realize that when you said "none" that you stated that people should NOT have free speech? Then the rest of your explanation was about how people should have free speech and how it's important lol.

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      @MrCryptic I apologize for the misunderstanding, when I said “None” I mean that there should be no regulations on freedom of speech and I take the full responsibility for this mistake.

  • I believe we should be allowed to say or think anything we want. No matter what. The fact people can get arrested for racist twitter messages is ridiculously over the top and unfare!

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  • I'm not for 100% freedom of speech If freedom of speech means "We can say anything we want." I think the concept differs.
    What If a person praises a terrorist organisation? He should definitely be arrested.
    What If a person is abetting? For example murder, theft or usage of drugs? I don't think it is a freedom of speech.
    Or If someone says rape and slavery is acceptable? Should we allow people to talk shit like that?
    Making fun of a country's flag by drawing a piece of shit on it?
    I don't think these are acceptable.

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      By the way I live in a country where freedom of speech is quite restricted. Like when you bash the president you quickly end up in jail.

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      Lol. A guy was sentenced to 2 years of prison because he said our president looks like gollum.

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      I'm glad I don't live there,,, I'd never get out of jail

  • You either have freedom of speech or you don’t. And there is no such thing as hate speech

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      There’s a such thing as hate speech, but it should be limited to direct calls for violence.

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      @TheSpartan so who decides what is hate speech? You? Liberals? So wouldn’t you agree that Kathy Griffin holding a severed head of the president and Madonna threatening to blow up the White House hate speech? Or does it not apply to liberals?

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      Yeah exactly. They use the "what if someone yells "fire" and causes a panic when there's no fire? wouldn't you want that censored?" But it's a strawman, what is meant with freedom of speech is to be able to have an opinion (s) and be able to voice them without fear of violence done to you. It's like logic, truth, and reason has been replaced by "but muh feels!"

  • You should be allowed to say whatever you want but if you're going to be an asshole dont be surprised if you lose your job and all your friends. Most people dont want to be around rasict sexist homophobic assholes.

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  • The problem is who decides what speech is politically correct and which is hate speech.

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      there is no politically correct, thats you giving up your rights to free speech blindly

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      @murdanyc916 political correctness goes back to communist Russia I think where you could be thrown in a gulag in Siberia if your views were deemed politically incorrect

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      wow, nice piece of history for us all there. thank you!

      i had no idea obama and hillary supported such monsterous views that came from russia and siberia, wow

      #GladToBeConservative

  • Anything that doesn't cause actual harm or incite harm, should be allowed. I think this is something that any sane person would agree upon, the problem is rather how to define when something is causing or inciting harm and when it isn't. This is where it gets tricky and that's what people actually argue about.

    By the way, all you people demanding "COMPLETELY UNLIMITED FREEDOM OF SPEECH!" don't know what you're talking about. You're just saying it because it makes you sound like the ultimate freedom fighters or whatever, when in fact it just exposes you as edgy douchebags who don't know how to think things through. None of you would be actually okay with allowing people to yell "fire!" at a public place to cause a dangerous panic.

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  • Are we in the same country? My country did it too. Not my country actually, but people here. A lots of close minded people here. Like they hated a minority, committing violence to LGBT, and many more. I'm sick of this, why do they not like differences? Oh, the funny thing is, if a woman come home in early morning then she will be immedietly labeled a bitch.

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      No, I'm from Norway. Norway are more secular.

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      I think the issue really is, not speech in a lot of your example. I think a lot of the issue in your case is closed mindedness. Speech is just expressing what people think. For example if, to use your last example, I labeled you a (not going to repeat, can read in the original post) for coming home late night early morning, weather or not I say it out loud don't change that I've put the label on you. Some issues if they can't be talked about can't be solved.

    • 2d

      Oh sorry, i just reread my opinion and i think so. Is not relevant

  • Barring treason, incitement, or an imminent call for violence, I think free speech should be virtually unregulated. That doesn't mean you should say anything you want, just that the government shouldn't stop you.

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  • If free speech doesn't include "offensive" speech, it isn't free speech. It's regulated speech, the opposite of free speech...

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  • I believe everyone can say whatever they want but they must be careful with the way they express it.

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      Yes, you should be able to say anything you wish. As long as your willing to accept the consequences of that. If for example I say something that highly offended you, I would have to accept you might slap me. (I'm sorry if that is unfair example, just the best I can think of)

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      @TomMarks I understand yes. Be ready for the consequences of course. And you can say whatever you want but you can express it in a polite way. For example if we have a fight about what politician each one supports instead of calling you stupid asshole etc for supporting the other I can say that we agree we disagree and move on

    • 1d

      That would be my take also, too bad some people will always insist you must agree with them or your some racist / bigot / hater (etc). (But I digress)

  • I don't support free speech. There should be laws. This silly notion that people can say whatever they want without consequences is ridiculous.

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      But who would decide what is acceptable and what isn't? If its based on offence caused then basically anything could be a violation of your ideal laws.

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      @TomMarks I know! You just have to turn on the news to see an example of a government abusing its power in some form or another. I'm not sure what paradise-like country she is from where the government has never such a thing. Plus, governments typically have different priorities to that of the people.

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      I just don’t understand how a human being can justify physical punishment against another person for using WORDS

  • Everything unless they insult or get passive agressive with someone else.

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  • I feel like the term your rights end where another's begin applies here. What I mean is, when your freedom of speech begins to negatively affect or harm another person to the point it may be detrimental to their pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness you have overstepped where your rights end. This would include death threats, threats in general, slander, libel, and speech that would otherwise promote violent actions or behavior based on race, gender, religion, sexuality, or just in general really. I guess this would include neo Nazi groups and the kkk since I mean.. come on. I don't necessarily believe some of these infringements merit arrest but I definitely believe there should be limits, like with every amendment we have.

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  • All of it. This is why I love being American.

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      USA USA USA

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      @Athena374 it's so funny how non-american people tell us how to live. This ain't your country gtfo 😂 "You can't say that because... MUH FEELINGS!" If you don't like how our country is run then don't come here. Simple as that.

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      ^Exactly 🤣💯

  • There must be complete freedom!

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      Nope, hate speech will be punished.

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      Hahahaha isn't it nice being free to Express how you really feel?

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      complete freedom = anarchy, anarchy = complete freedom

      the key to life is a balance of restriction and freedom without giving up too much freedom to those who want to restrict it all

  • All of it.

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  • I would love to give my opinion but I would probably be banned for life.

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  • Complete freedom of speech. Banning people from speaking their minds just because they're arseholes/you don't agree with it is an infringement on our freedom that shouldn't be tolerated.

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      It is their hate speech that shouldn't be tolerated

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      @roaring20sman Nah, it's TimeSplittersxvc who's saying it on a different post.

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      I was about to say lol this TimeSplittersxvc is a damn moron.

What Guys Said 80

  • I agree with the Norwegian model. I think GENERALLY SPEAKING, there should be as much freedom of speech as possible. However, I think it is justifiable to prohibit hate speech. The idea behind this is pretty simple: Norway and other European countries don't actually limit your freedom of speech, they only limit your freedom expression. What do I mean by that? Well, opinions can be uttered in different ways. I can criticize someone in a polite, mature way, while still being harsh with my criticism, or I can simply throw around insults. Now personally, I don't see why people should have a right to spread hatred. There is nothing you can't also say in a normal way. And if you're really only capable of being hateful, maybe you shouldn't speak in the first place.

    Now, Germany's case is a bit special because they prohibit the expression of a specific opinion rather than a hateful way of talking (you can also deny the holocaust and say it politely). This is much more problematic and in any other situation, I would be against it. Generally speaking, people should be allowed to have whatever opinion they want to have and express it. However, it is both understandable and justifiable to make holocaust denial illegal in Germany. Firstly, it is understandable because of Germany's historical trauma. Other countries will never understand how deep the scare is that the nazis have left in the collective conscience of the German people. Secondly, it is justifiable because the holocaust happened as a matter of fact. It's something that is scientifically proven. So to say *the holocaust never happened", isn't just some opinion. It is literally, historically and scientifically wrong. In other situations, lying should be legal, even if it morally not okay. But in the case of holocaust denial, it's a lie that promotes and incites antidemocratic, totalitarian attitudes. And in that sense, it can be viewed as a serious danger from which the government and the population must be protected.

    I do not agree with the American model of free speech absolutism because this absolutism comes at a very high price. It makes it so that incredibly hateful people and liars can go around spread there messages. At first this may not seem like a big deal (nobody is forced to watch Alex Jones) but in the long run, it has a very corrosive effect on society. And if you look at the American society, there is really a lot of violence. Not just physical but also verbal.

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      I'll take the bad with the good. I prefer the American model that protects you from government reprisal when you criticize the government. There shouldn't be any laws about so called hate speech because that's nothing more than a way to shut down dissenting opinion.

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      @Sixgun77
      Like I have said above, I don't believe that is true. As a European myself, I have never felt like there are things I can't say. It's all about how you say it. Hate speech does exist. If I bully you for your race or your gender or your nationality or anything like that, that's already pretty bad. It can be very hurtful. However, what's even worse is if someone eggs people on to hate on you. For example let's say you live in my country and I have a powerful media outlet (something like Alex Jones) where I spread all kinds of prejudices against Americans and I egg people on to treat Americans with disdain. As a foreigner, you will directly get to feel this. In extreme cases, it might even put you in danger (a guy almost shot a bunch of innocent customers of a pizzeria because of Alex Jones' lies).

      So yes, I don't think this kind of behavior should be tolerated because it destroys democracy.

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      @Sixgun77
      Think about it this way: the holocaust didn't start because one random days, the nazis suddenly decided to kill millions of people. There was a long period of building up to this moment. It began with small things like antisemitic conspiracy theories, jokes, hateful remarks... and from there it was constant moving of the goalpost.

  • I'm for 100% free speech. I think that anything less than that is simply the beginning of the end (the exceptions being places like Germany where the limitations and reasons for them are very clear).
    We enter into a weird world where how offended you are by something because the foundation of any word or phrase being "hate speech". If you are offended, that's it. Nothing happens. Be offended!
    I'd rather be offended every single day than have people being charged for simply saying something that bothers me.

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  • I'm biased toward the broad freedom of speech that Americans have under our First Amendment. We have the strongest protections for speech in the world, and I obviously think that is a very good thing. What would be considered "hate speech" in many European countries is protected by our First Amendment. Does that mean I'm in favor of hate? No, not at all. The problem is with who gets to decide what is "hate speech." Writing and speaking the truth about Islam, for example, would not be permitted under many European speech restrictions. The same goes for issues pertaining to immigration and other cultural issues. What is so dangerous is that the Left all too often gets to decide something is "hate speech" simply because it's a position or argument they disagree with. I remember reading with shock a few years ago that an MP in the UK was charged with a crime for accurately quoting the great Winston Churchill's views on Islam. That would never be permitted under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

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      I think you've a good point! For a well-functional democracy, freedom speech is important. There's a big difference between saying something and being violent. I'm a left-wing myself.

      So in that way the US is more democratic than many European states. At the other side, the US has an electoral college and a two party system. That's not very democratic.

  • I guess there's at least one reason not to go to Scandinavia... Both Norway and Sweden are taken over by SJWs.
    I just hope you hang yourself with your own rope.

    As for my opinion - there should be absolutely no restriction on speech as long as it isn't a direct call for violence or a threat. Additionally, defamation, slander and libel should only be processed at civil courts - there is no reason to treat it as a criminal offense, and there should be no jailtime given for it.

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      It's not only Norway and Sweden that have a strict law. Denmark, Iceland and Finland has something similar too. Germany is even stricter. It's not as strict as Saudi Arabia, Iran, North-Korea etc., but there's a limitation and do contradict the right to freedom speech.

      "I just hope you...", sarcasm?

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      My post isn't sarcastic or irony, but I'm wondering if your post was it. You wrote "I just hope you hang yourself with your own rope" and I asked you if you're serious.

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      I was. That's a phrase you know, I'm not actually telling you to kill yourself. It means that I hope the super-progressive utopia you wished to create at the cost of freedom will blow up in your face.

  • It should never be infringed. Their is a reason why it is valued, at least in the US and the reason is quite simply who determines what is right-speech? Who determines what is right-think? Words can alter opinions and by extension how people think and that is why so many wish to regulate it. Now if I say something that some one finds offensive, does it make what I said factually incorrect? No. Whether or not what I have said is correct is based solely on whether or not it is correct not some ones feelings not some ones perception of it. For instance in the UK people have been arrested for calling out the Pakistani rape gangs. It was deemed "racist". It was also correct, statistically Pakistani's are more likely to perform child grooming and rape then non Pakistani's. So now its not a matter of something being silenced because it was wrong, but because some one didn't like the truth. So now we are silencing not opinions but facts and this in turn gives people significantly greater power because if they hear what they don't like, or if their particular political party is being justly criticized they can simply scream hate speech and now they can destroy a persons life, have them imprisoned, have them fired and they don't even need to provide evidence of wrong doing (which happens all the time in Europe). They can even then use that to justify political violence (or terrorism), by claiming that they are attacking a "racist" or "Nazi" which terrorist groups like Antifa does all the time, again with no means of proving their statement (or inclination) or even when it is patently false (for instance they claim that a prominent conservative Ben Shapiro is a Nazi despite the fact that he is not only jewish, but an incredibly devote jew). So you have it silencing the truth, it being used to justify destroying lives, justifying harming and even killing people all because you decided some opinions where "wrong" and others where not and you trusted that people would not abuse this (despite the fact that this is what always happens, when you give people power over others many end up using it for personal gain.). On top of all of that, by restricting speech and thus dissent, the truth, and the ability to fix problems as your not allowed to even mention the problems exist, you are also saying that you do not believe in the truth. If the truth matters, then you MUST let it exist. You cannot believe in a system then try and circumvent the system.

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  • Censorship of anything is an abusable system as getting offended is relative and based on the individual. It creates a system of discrimination currency as you get benifits for being supposedly discriminated against.
    -Playing the victim garners guilt,
    -Playing the diversity card for university or job admittance

    If you want socialism move to China.

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  • I don't care what you say as long as it is not putting others in danger like yelling fire in a theater or something like that then charge them with disturbing the peace and go on your way. Now, I will tell you that I will not tell a mother fucker to shut up if he is just spewing hate speech after hate speech, but that is his problem.

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  • Policing language shouldn't be allowed. We should be allowed to say how we feel and what we think. Of course, inciting violence isn't lawful but things like getting sued for being a Christian or Muslim who didn't serve a homosexual a wedding cake or to not be allowed to be anti-trans are infringing on the rights of free speech.

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  • all of it.
    if some1 calls u a racial slur. ignore them and move on with ur day
    if some1 calls u dwarf freak ignore them and move on with ur day
    faggot-ignore
    im an atheist-you can belive in an imaginary overlord, it think ur stupid but u can belive whatever u want, i dont care
    im a nationalist. if u dont like my country, move to a different one, i dont care.
    if u dont like my ethnicity, move to a part of the world where slavs dont live, i dont care
    i dont care if my opinions hurt ur precious feefees, grow thicker skin or stay home. we dont have to be friends, we dont need to be in each others presence.

    my explanation: stalin killed millions over their opinion, so did mao, hitler, the religious establishment did it, monarchs of all kind did it, north korea does it, china does it the middle east does it and now the UN will do it by criminalising criticism of migrant. imprisoning people for word is like punishing a dog for barking.
    threats of violence and public defamation do not count as free speech and should be punished. other than that, if u dont like what i have to say, walk away

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  • most people don't know what freedom of speech means or entails. it doesn't mean you can say what you want. its purpose is to protect from government prosecution from criticizing the government and expressing yourself on religious grounds. your rights aren't protected if they incite illegal activity or threats against others both on individual or public levels.

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  • I think the difference is between "black people make me uncomfortable." And "I want to shoot every black bastard." I think you should be free to say "I don't like school" but not "I am going to bring a gun to school." I think if you are using threatening language you make it unclear if it's a threat or exaggeration making it dangerous. Just because you have the right to say what you want but doesn't mean you are free from the consequences.

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  • That is a difficult balancing act always
    It must always be legal to speak out against the government and such
    It is trickier when talking about things like religion you don't want to ban legitimate criticism but you don't want to open the door for religious persecution either
    The same dilemma exists with various other topics as well
    There is no good answers to questions like this only bad options to choose from

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    • 4d

      It's a difference between legalizing speech and violence for instance.

    • 4d

      But what if the speech glorifies encourages and incites violence?
      And exactly when does it do that?
      I am in principle against limitations to free speech but I can understand why some of them exist and I must admit there are good reasons to slander and libel being prohibited when we venture into so-called hate speech it is a lot murkier but it is somewhere you more often see incitement to violence

    • 4d

      It's also a difference between legalizing general speech and encouraging criminality (here: violence).

  • I think freedom of speech refers to people being able to criticize the government and the laws because that's the idea of democracy.
    It can't justify people being racist towards each other. If a group of people act racist towards someone and humiliates them, it's okay for them to do so? Because there is freedom of speech?
    Obviously there should be consequences for this kind of behavior as this could lead to major problems in a society.

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  • People should be entitled to their opinions it is not the purpose of Government to punish people for saying them. How many governments have in the past said "past governments have tried to censure your speech and they were wrong because they did not know what is true and what is not, but we know what is true and what is not and therefore we have the right to censure your speech." They have no right to claim a monopoly on right and wrong.

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  • I believe each and every single person should have the right to speak their mind. Idgaf if you're offended. If them speaking their mind doesn't call for violence or hurts someone's physical wellbeing then it should fine. Racists, homophobes, gays, straights, atheists, religious people, etc. EVERYONE DESERVES TO BE HEARD! It isn't up to you to limit someone's free speech. God bless the 1st amendment. I ain't about to get fined because of "Muh feelings".

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  • Anything short of threats of violence should be allowed. The only "hate speech" is that which is violent, racist, sexist, any otherwise bigoted statements? Not hate speech. Once you start restricting speech, you open the door to have you own speech censored and close any hope of reasonable dialogue between different opinions.

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  • once you start making laws to control speech you create a slippery slope that will eventually be abused. Yes today it may be making offensive comments people are trying to control but eventually may lead to. "He / She said I'm wrong arrest them." Using laws to govern expression is never a good idea.

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  • I think total freedom of speech should be allowed but it should be limited to speech only. If you want to publish books, that should be under freedom of publishing, or freedom of the press or something. Its nearly impossible to police people's speech therefore the government looks very stupid if they even attempt to regulate what people are allowed to say.

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  • Your country is runned by weak lames. Freedom of speech is fine as long a person or group of people isn't inciting violence or public disorder such as rioting or looting otherwise say what you will.

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  • I don't think freedom of speech should be limited at all. You can't call it freedom of speech if you then say "Oh, but you can't say these stuff. Anything but these stuff." It's kind of sad that countries like Ireland still have blasphemy laws.

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  • Everything short of inciting violence or faking danger (things like yelling "fire!" or "he's got a gun!" or "he raped me!" when there's no fire or no gun or no rapist) should be allowed.

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  • I think every freedom is allowed until a certain individual is not practicing his freedom to say something but to manipulate.

    like when a liberal tells other liberals to beat up all the republicans and then the libs do exactly that. you would be violating your power to hurt someone which is a red line

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  • I believe that freedom of speech should be absolute and it should be protected absolutely. Every sanction against the freedom of an individual to express themselves is a dangerous step on the steep, slippery slope toward fascism.

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  • all of it but also an anti bullying gurantee i know its weired i should have right to criticize allv people with what they can Change (ur religion ur views) but in a respected way not to bully you

    i can't say kill refugees kill white kill muslims kill Zionists of course but i can say those people r wrong cuz 1 and 2 and 3 😂

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  • Everything except call for violence or murder should be allowed. As soon as you start to forbid anything that is not threatening physically, you can go as far as you want, which will, in the end, allow what we see today, people considering as "hate speech" anything they don't want to hear, or even not using a made up pronoun for a made up gender.

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  • Make our country like yous in that respect. We have hate speech but the law ignores hate speech against the disabled even if they are calling for them to be put down and describing how to do it. Even thought there are laws agaisnt it, very few quite prosecuted.

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  • People always talk and about the gao between the rich and poor increasing. Well the reason for that is rich people are all about action and silence and poor people are all about talk and never know when to STFU.

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  • The only speach that should be illegal are threats. Anything else I'd say is fine. Hate groups should be monitored to make sure they don't turn violent.

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  • Really the only things banned should be death threats and the whole fire in the crowded theater shit

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  • Hate speech should be allowed because it is too difficult to draw a line that is fair and just. But purposeful attempts to spread false information deserve to be censored

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