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Freedom Of Speech Quotes (305 quotes)

Until every soul is freely permitted to investigate every book, and creed, and dogma for itself, the world cannot be free. Mankind will be enslaved until there is mental grandeur enough to allow each man to have his thought and say. This earth will be a paradise when men can, upon all these questions differ, and yet grasp each other’s hands as friends. It is amazing to me that a difference of opinion upon subjects that we know nothing with certainty about, should make us hate, persecute, and despise each other. Why a difference of opinion upon predestination, or the trinity, should make people imprison and burn each other seems beyond the comprehension of man; and yet in all countries where Christians have existed, they have destroyed each other to the exact extent of their power. Why should a believer in God hate an atheist? Surely the atheist has not injured God, and surely he is human, capable of joy and pain, and entitled to all the rights of man. Would it not be far better to treat this atheist, at least, as well as he treats us?

Christians tell me that they love their enemies, and yet all I ask isnot that they love their enemies, not that they love their friends even, but that they treat those who differ from them, with simple fairness.

We do not wish to be forgiven, but we wish Christians to so act that we will not have to forgive them. If all will admit that all have an equal right to think, then the question is forever solved; but as long as organized and powerful churches, pretending to hold the keys of heaven and hell, denounce every person as an outcast and criminal who thinks for himself and denies their authority, the world will be filled with hatred and suffering. To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds. Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

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Freedom Of Speech Quotes (305 quotes)

Freedom of speech | Britannica.com

Freedom of speech, Right, as stated in the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, to express information, ideas, and opinions free of government restrictions based on content. A modern legal test of the legitimacy of proposed restrictions on freedom of speech was stated in the opinion by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in Schenk v. U.S. (1919): a restriction is legitimate only if the speech in question poses a clear and present dangeri.e., a risk or threat to safety or to other public interests that is serious and imminent. Many cases involving freedom of speech and of the press also have concerned defamation, obscenity, and prior restraint (see Pentagon Papers). See also censorship.

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Freedom of speech | Britannica.com

What Does Free Speech Mean? | United States Courts

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Among other cherished values, the First Amendment protects freedom of speech. The U.S. Supreme Court often has struggled to determine what exactly constitutes protected speech. The following are examples of speech, both direct (words) and symbolic (actions), that the Court has decided are either entitled to First Amendment protections, or not.

The First Amendment states, in relevant part, that:

Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech.

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What Does Free Speech Mean? | United States Courts

Europes Freedom of Speech Fail Foreign Policy

Over the past decade, there has been a global decline in respect for freedom of expression. And Europes democracies traditionally understood to be places in which these rights are both honored and protected have not been immune.

According to Reporters Without Borderss Press Freedom Index, which measures trends in media freedom at both the global and regional levels, all but two European Union-member states (plus Iceland and Norway) have a lower press freedom score in 2016 than they did in 2013. In some cases, there has been marked backsliding: Germany went from a score of 10.24 in 2013 to 14.8 in 2016 (the lower the score, the more respect for press freedom); the United Kingdom has gone from 16.89 to 21.7; and Poland is among the worst cases, jumping from a respectable 13.11 to a deeply worrying 23.89. These scores reflect changes in important indicators such as media independence, self-censorship, and rule of law, among others.

Freedom of expression has always been unevenly protected in Europe. This is because of a philosophical divide that cuts across the continent: Some European countries can be classified as militant democracies. In these countries, the state limits freedom of speech and association when it is deemed to threaten other values outlined in the constitution, such as democracy and the freedom of others. Germany, which regularly bans or has banned various Communist, National Socialist, and Islamist organizations, is a classic example.France, which prohibits Holocaust denial, shuts down mosques it deems too radical and aggressively enforces laws against hate speech and glorification of terrorism, also falls mainly into this camp.

While there are historical justifications for some of these policies, they raise important questions and produce awkward results. Why is it impermissible to deny the Holocaust but permissible to deny the Armenian genocide? Or the evils of the slave trade and colonialism for that matter? What is the metric used for determining whether something is hate speech, or just permissible criticism? Increasingly, laws against hatred and offense have come to target controversial but non-violent speech including that of comedians, politicians critical of immigration, as well as Muslims vocally opposed to Western foreign policy. Moreover, there seems to be little evidence suggesting that suppressing speech leads to higher levels of tolerance in liberal democracies. A new report from Germanys domestic intelligence agencyshows not only that there were 500 more extreme-right entities in 2015 than in 2014, but also that there has been a 42 percent increase in violent acts by right-wing extremists over that same period. American NGO Human Rights First also documented a doubling of anti-Semitic hate crimes in France from 2014-2015. A recent report by two Norwegian researchers suggests that an environment where controversial expressions are filtered out may increase the risk of extremist violence.

On the other end of the spectrum are the Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom the liberal democracies that have traditionally been more tolerant of intolerance (though no European state offers as robust a protection of free speech as the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution). Lately, however, it seems that even these states are edging closer toward a militant democracy-style approach.

This past spring, a majority in the Danish Parliament broke with 70 years of tolerating most instances of extreme expressions to enact a law that will criminalize religious teaching that explicitly condones certain crimes such as murder, violence, and even polygamy. Under the law, an imam or priest who explicitly condones the spanking of children or polygamy as part of his or her religious teaching would face up to three years in prison, whereas a politician or ordinary citizen condoning such practices would be free to do so. The law also bars religious preachers who have expressed anti-democratic views from entering the country.

Denmark has been a bastion of free speech protections in Europe, including, at times, from groups that have advocated for totalitarian ideologies, both secular and religious. During the Cold War, the Danish Communist Party held seats in Parliament and freely published pro-Kremlin propaganda. Nazis were also allowed to regroup and advocate their supremacist ideas despite the Nazi occupation of Denmark from 1940-45. Notwithstanding this permissive environment, neither Nazism nor Communism has managed to seriously establish themselves in Denmark. Despite worrying levels of radicalization among some Danish Muslims, Denmark is hardly poised to become a caliphate anytime soon. And yet there are signs that the land that fiercely stood up for the right of its newspapers to publish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed has begun shifting away from this commitment to free expression. On Constitution Day in early June, Danish Justice Minister Sren Pind who once called himself the Freedom Minister because of his determination to spread liberty to developing countries in the global south announced his intention to criminalize the grossly negligent sharing of extremist material online. If the law is enacted, linking to online magazines such as the Islamic States Dabiq would mean jail time.

Denmarks efforts have been inspired by various counterextremist measures that the historically tolerant U.K. has taken over the past decade. In a speech in May, for example, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intentions to pursue a law that will, according to the Guardian, allow the government the ability to ban non-violent extremist organizations, gag individuals and empower local councils to close premises used to promote hatred. The government has previously defined extremism as vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. This definition is vast and sweeping: It would essentially label anyone opposed to liberal democracy as an extremist.

The movement toward a more German approach to free speech, one that silences the perceived enemies of an open society, has not only taken root at the national level but is increasingly the guiding philosophy of European institutions. The final limits on free speech in Europe are ultimately determined by the European Court of Human Rights, which is under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights. The court can pass legally binding judgments against member states. In a number of cases, the court has determined that member states may ban extremist religious and political organizations (such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir, an Islamist movement committed to the nonviolent establishment of a global caliphate) and prohibit mere glorification of terrorism. The court views hate speech, including Holocaust denial, as an abuse of convention rights and therefore allows it no legal free speech protections. This sets a relatively low bar for the protection of controversial speech across 47 European states and leaves wiggle room for states eager to exploit such openings to further expand the permissible limits on expression.

EU law, which has primacy over national law, is increasingly developing new limitations on speech that apply to all member states. The Framework Decision on Combating Racism and Xenophobia, adopted in 2008, obliges EU states to criminalize hate speech, albeit not in a uniform manner. Lately, the European Commission has signaled that it wants to see the Framework Decision enforced more vigorously. In a speech on Oct. 2, 2015, EU Commissioner for Justice and Consumers Vera Jourova said that member states must firmly and immediately investigate and prosecute racist hatred. She added, I find it disgraceful that Holocaust denial is a criminal offense in only 13 member states. The commission has even suggested that legal proceedings could be brought against member states that have not fully transposed the Framework Decision that is, the commission is considering bringing member states before the European Court of Justice for offering freedom of expression protection that is too strong.

But the most serious blow to freedom of expression in Europe may be the recently signed Code of Conduct (COC) between the European Commission and Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube. Under the COC, these tech giants have agreed to review the majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to such content, if necessary. What constitutes illegal hate speech is not clear. The COC refers to the Framework Decision and national laws. However, the Framework Decisions definition of what constitutes incitement to hatred is far from clear, and national hate speech laws vary widely. While 13 countries ban Holocaust denial, many others do not. In Sweden, an artist was imprisoned for six months for racist and offensive posters exhibited in an art museum; the same posters were freely exhibited in Denmark. Should Facebook remove all content that may constitute Holocaust denial, or only when uploaded in, say, Germany or France? Should an internet meme based on the offensive Swedish posters be guided by Danish or Swedish standards? This uncertainty may force companies to err on the side of caution and adopt a bias toward preventive censorship.

The COC essentially privatizes internet censorship with none of the accountability, publicity, and legal safeguards that follow from proper legal procedures. Since social media has become essential for traditional media to reach a wide audience, the COC could cause a ripple effect of self-censorship on the part of outlets that fear their content could be removed from social media platforms for being hate speech. The COC will not only affect freedom of expression in the EU, but also the EUs ability to campaign credibly for freedom of expression and internet freedom in countries where censorship is the norm. After all, why should the Putins and Xi Jipings of the world take lessons on internet freedom from an organization that imposes nebulous limits on the internet?

Democratic Europe still remains a bastion of free speech compared with most other places in the world. But the closing of the European mind, by prohibiting expressions that agitate against Europes fundamental values, moves these democracies uncomfortably close to practices that the EU is supposed to guard against. This trend bears an uncanny (albeit imperfect) resemblance to the infamous Section 106 of the East German penal code, which criminalized anti-state propaganda, including agitation against the constitutional basis of the socialist state and social order of the GDR (German Democratic Republic) and glorification of fascism and militarism. Europe should make sure that such rot does not take hold in its democratic foundation, which cannot hold firm without a robust protection of free speech.

Photo credit: OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

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Europes Freedom of Speech Fail Foreign Policy

Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword: David K …

Selection, Fifteen Books You Need to Read in 2015, The Village Voice

Chilling. . . .For Shipler, it’s essential that we find a middle ground where we can hear one another, where we can debate and disagree with respect. . . .We must participate in the conversation about who we are and who we want to be. That it is unruly, disturbing, scary even, goes without saying; this is also why it’s necessary. David L. Ulin, The Los Angeles Times

[Shipler] takes on everything from the fate of whistleblowers (not good) to how schools deal with books that some parents find objectionable. Thoroughly reported and written with both fairness and passion, its a highly readable treatment of a subject that doesnt get much more important. Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times

Shipler offers an on-the-ground, anecdotal portrait of an eclectic and rich mix of speech controversies. . . . The strength of his book lies in his willingness to investigate the facts and his ability to portray vividly the real-life quandaries that people at the center of free speech battles often face. David Cole, The Washington Post[Shipler] gets it: The First Amendment is only a starting point. Free expression is a noble ideal that creates continual tension in our society. . . . Shiplers view of Americas free speech landscape is nuanced and complex. Yes, people say awful things, and sometimes seek to squelch expression with which they disagree. But in his book, good ideas and sentiments hold their own against bad and offensive ones. Bill Lueders, The Progressive

David K. Shipler has written a vibrant analysis of our ambivalent relationship with the single most important right we have under the U.S. Constitution. . . .Shipler writes with crisp, concise earnestness. . . .This book is a pleasure to read both for Shiplers skill but also because he tells the stories of people bound up in these issues. John Pantalone, Providence Journal

A well-researched and fair treatment of its subject matter. . . .[Shipler] approaches events factually and without bias. . . .He also goes beyond the simple and immediate facts of the situations he describes. Eric Barber-Isaac, Portland Book ReviewIlluminating. . . .[Shipler] does his homework. Julia M. Klein, Columbia Journalism Review

By providing intimate portraits of the lives of those who dare to speak against the odds, Shipler enables us to see the human element behind free expression. . . .Shipler pricks the conscience of readers who refrain from telling the truth, or whose selective listening has lead them to disrespect and delegitimize those with whom they disagree. Dennis McDaniel, National Catholic Reporter

Good stories, great interviews, and a potent plea on behalf of vigilant listening. Kirkus Reviews

A broad and deep look at free speech. . . .A fascinating look at one of our fundamental rights. Booklist

David Shipler reminds us in this important book that sometimes we have to listen to things we dont want to hear. But without freedom of speech, there can be no dialogue, and without dialogue, there can be no democracy. Freedom of Speech is a glorious celebration of its own subject! Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

At a time when the First Amendment is under siege as never before in our lifetimes, David Shipler, one of the nations great journalists, reminds us what we are in danger of losing. His terrific, timely new book, Freedom of Speech: Mightier than the Sword, takes us on a toursometimes shocking, often infuriating, always enlighteningof Americas free-speech battlefields. Philip Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy AssassinationShipler tells real, often Orwellian stories of ordinary peoplegovernment workers, teachers, librarians, and playwrightswho risk everything to push the free speech envelope, while challenging us to consider difficult cases when money buys speech and poverty promotes silence.At a time when many civil libertarians despair at the loss of freedom and privacy on so many fronts, Freedom of Speech reveals conflicts that must be understood if free speech is to prevail. Barbara Jones, director, ALA Office for Intellectual FreedomThe freedom of speech enjoyed by American citizens is unique in all the world. In this brilliantly insightful and incisive book, David Shipler explores the many and varied facets of our nations complex, extraordinary, and fascinating relationship with our most precious freedom. Geoffrey R. Stone, author of Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime

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Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword: David K …

Freedom of Speech by Norman Rockwell – Facts about the …

Freedom of Speech was the first in a series of four paintings which depict examples of the four basic freedoms of Americans. Freedom of Speech depicts a young man who appears to be of the American working class, given his plain clothing over which he wears a plain, brown jacket. Protruding from a front pocket of the jacket is a folded document that appears to bear importance in the matter at hand.

This main character of the painting is standing in the midst of a meeting of importance to the locality in which he lives and/or works. He is surrounded by older gentlemen, wearing traditional suits and ties, but who are looking at him with a degree of curiosity mixed with consideration for the young mans oratory. The young man appears to be unfazed by his modest attire in the midst of formality, focusing instead on the subject matter that concerned him to the extent that he felt it necessary to attend this meeting and speak his mind.

Freedom of Speech was painted by renowned American artist, humorist, and painter, Norman Rockwell. The inspiration for the painting came from the State of the Union address, delivered in January of 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in which he set forth the four basic freedoms that Americans have the right to enjoy. This painting was the first of the series and appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Posts February 20th issue.

Mr. Rockwell, in his usual style, includes discreet inferences in this painting which may not be immediately obvious upon initial viewing. For instance, the bench immediately in front of the young man is conspicuously empty. This has been viewed by some as an invitation to the viewer to attend the meeting as well. Others see the empty bench as a portrayal of the fact that someone did not feel compelled to attend the meeting.

Another interesting fact behind this painting is Mr. Rockwells inclusion of the faces of people he knows in his work.

And, finally, the manner in which he pointedly signs his own name in the dark background of the painting depicts his own humility in the face of such a powerful message.

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Freedom of Speech by Norman Rockwell – Facts about the …

Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword: David K …

Selection, Fifteen Books You Need to Read in 2015, The Village Voice

Chilling. . . .For Shipler, it’s essential that we find a middle ground where we can hear one another, where we can debate and disagree with respect. . . .We must participate in the conversation about who we are and who we want to be. That it is unruly, disturbing, scary even, goes without saying; this is also why it’s necessary. David L. Ulin, The Los Angeles Times

[Shipler] takes on everything from the fate of whistleblowers (not good) to how schools deal with books that some parents find objectionable. Thoroughly reported and written with both fairness and passion, its a highly readable treatment of a subject that doesnt get much more important. Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times

Shipler offers an on-the-ground, anecdotal portrait of an eclectic and rich mix of speech controversies. . . . The strength of his book lies in his willingness to investigate the facts and his ability to portray vividly the real-life quandaries that people at the center of free speech battles often face. David Cole, The Washington Post[Shipler] gets it: The First Amendment is only a starting point. Free expression is a noble ideal that creates continual tension in our society. . . . Shiplers view of Americas free speech landscape is nuanced and complex. Yes, people say awful things, and sometimes seek to squelch expression with which they disagree. But in his book, good ideas and sentiments hold their own against bad and offensive ones. Bill Lueders, The Progressive

David K. Shipler has written a vibrant analysis of our ambivalent relationship with the single most important right we have under the U.S. Constitution. . . .Shipler writes with crisp, concise earnestness. . . .This book is a pleasure to read both for Shiplers skill but also because he tells the stories of people bound up in these issues. John Pantalone, Providence Journal

A well-researched and fair treatment of its subject matter. . . .[Shipler] approaches events factually and without bias. . . .He also goes beyond the simple and immediate facts of the situations he describes. Eric Barber-Isaac, Portland Book ReviewIlluminating. . . .[Shipler] does his homework. Julia M. Klein, Columbia Journalism Review

By providing intimate portraits of the lives of those who dare to speak against the odds, Shipler enables us to see the human element behind free expression. . . .Shipler pricks the conscience of readers who refrain from telling the truth, or whose selective listening has lead them to disrespect and delegitimize those with whom they disagree. Dennis McDaniel, National Catholic Reporter

Good stories, great interviews, and a potent plea on behalf of vigilant listening. Kirkus Reviews

A broad and deep look at free speech. . . .A fascinating look at one of our fundamental rights. Booklist

David Shipler reminds us in this important book that sometimes we have to listen to things we dont want to hear. But without freedom of speech, there can be no dialogue, and without dialogue, there can be no democracy. Freedom of Speech is a glorious celebration of its own subject! Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

At a time when the First Amendment is under siege as never before in our lifetimes, David Shipler, one of the nations great journalists, reminds us what we are in danger of losing. His terrific, timely new book, Freedom of Speech: Mightier than the Sword, takes us on a toursometimes shocking, often infuriating, always enlighteningof Americas free-speech battlefields. Philip Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy AssassinationShipler tells real, often Orwellian stories of ordinary peoplegovernment workers, teachers, librarians, and playwrightswho risk everything to push the free speech envelope, while challenging us to consider difficult cases when money buys speech and poverty promotes silence.At a time when many civil libertarians despair at the loss of freedom and privacy on so many fronts, Freedom of Speech reveals conflicts that must be understood if free speech is to prevail. Barbara Jones, director, ALA Office for Intellectual FreedomThe freedom of speech enjoyed by American citizens is unique in all the world. In this brilliantly insightful and incisive book, David Shipler explores the many and varied facets of our nations complex, extraordinary, and fascinating relationship with our most precious freedom. Geoffrey R. Stone, author of Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime

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Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword: David K …

Europes Freedom of Speech Fail Foreign Policy

Over the past decade, there has been a global decline in respect for freedom of expression. And Europes democracies traditionally understood to be places in which these rights are both honored and protected have not been immune.

According to Reporters Without Borderss Press Freedom Index, which measures trends in media freedom at both the global and regional levels, all but two European Union-member states (plus Iceland and Norway) have a lower press freedom score in 2016 than they did in 2013. In some cases, there has been marked backsliding: Germany went from a score of 10.24 in 2013 to 14.8 in 2016 (the lower the score, the more respect for press freedom); the United Kingdom has gone from 16.89 to 21.7; and Poland is among the worst cases, jumping from a respectable 13.11 to a deeply worrying 23.89. These scores reflect changes in important indicators such as media independence, self-censorship, and rule of law, among others.

Freedom of expression has always been unevenly protected in Europe. This is because of a philosophical divide that cuts across the continent: Some European countries can be classified as militant democracies. In these countries, the state limits freedom of speech and association when it is deemed to threaten other values outlined in the constitution, such as democracy and the freedom of others. Germany, which regularly bans or has banned various Communist, National Socialist, and Islamist organizations, is a classic example.France, which prohibits Holocaust denial, shuts down mosques it deems too radical and aggressively enforces laws against hate speech and glorification of terrorism, also falls mainly into this camp.

While there are historical justifications for some of these policies, they raise important questions and produce awkward results. Why is it impermissible to deny the Holocaust but permissible to deny the Armenian genocide? Or the evils of the slave trade and colonialism for that matter? What is the metric used for determining whether something is hate speech, or just permissible criticism? Increasingly, laws against hatred and offense have come to target controversial but non-violent speech including that of comedians, politicians critical of immigration, as well as Muslims vocally opposed to Western foreign policy. Moreover, there seems to be little evidence suggesting that suppressing speech leads to higher levels of tolerance in liberal democracies. A new report from Germanys domestic intelligence agencyshows not only that there were 500 more extreme-right entities in 2015 than in 2014, but also that there has been a 42 percent increase in violent acts by right-wing extremists over that same period. American NGO Human Rights First also documented a doubling of anti-Semitic hate crimes in France from 2014-2015. A recent report by two Norwegian researchers suggests that an environment where controversial expressions are filtered out may increase the risk of extremist violence.

On the other end of the spectrum are the Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom the liberal democracies that have traditionally been more tolerant of intolerance (though no European state offers as robust a protection of free speech as the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution). Lately, however, it seems that even these states are edging closer toward a militant democracy-style approach.

This past spring, a majority in the Danish Parliament broke with 70 years of tolerating most instances of extreme expressions to enact a law that will criminalize religious teaching that explicitly condones certain crimes such as murder, violence, and even polygamy. Under the law, an imam or priest who explicitly condones the spanking of children or polygamy as part of his or her religious teaching would face up to three years in prison, whereas a politician or ordinary citizen condoning such practices would be free to do so. The law also bars religious preachers who have expressed anti-democratic views from entering the country.

Denmark has been a bastion of free speech protections in Europe, including, at times, from groups that have advocated for totalitarian ideologies, both secular and religious. During the Cold War, the Danish Communist Party held seats in Parliament and freely published pro-Kremlin propaganda. Nazis were also allowed to regroup and advocate their supremacist ideas despite the Nazi occupation of Denmark from 1940-45. Notwithstanding this permissive environment, neither Nazism nor Communism has managed to seriously establish themselves in Denmark. Despite worrying levels of radicalization among some Danish Muslims, Denmark is hardly poised to become a caliphate anytime soon. And yet there are signs that the land that fiercely stood up for the right of its newspapers to publish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed has begun shifting away from this commitment to free expression. On Constitution Day in early June, Danish Justice Minister Sren Pind who once called himself the Freedom Minister because of his determination to spread liberty to developing countries in the global south announced his intention to criminalize the grossly negligent sharing of extremist material online. If the law is enacted, linking to online magazines such as the Islamic States Dabiq would mean jail time.

Denmarks efforts have been inspired by various counterextremist measures that the historically tolerant U.K. has taken over the past decade. In a speech in May, for example, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intentions to pursue a law that will, according to the Guardian, allow the government the ability to ban non-violent extremist organizations, gag individuals and empower local councils to close premises used to promote hatred. The government has previously defined extremism as vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. This definition is vast and sweeping: It would essentially label anyone opposed to liberal democracy as an extremist.

The movement toward a more German approach to free speech, one that silences the perceived enemies of an open society, has not only taken root at the national level but is increasingly the guiding philosophy of European institutions. The final limits on free speech in Europe are ultimately determined by the European Court of Human Rights, which is under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights. The court can pass legally binding judgments against member states. In a number of cases, the court has determined that member states may ban extremist religious and political organizations (such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir, an Islamist movement committed to the nonviolent establishment of a global caliphate) and prohibit mere glorification of terrorism. The court views hate speech, including Holocaust denial, as an abuse of convention rights and therefore allows it no legal free speech protections. This sets a relatively low bar for the protection of controversial speech across 47 European states and leaves wiggle room for states eager to exploit such openings to further expand the permissible limits on expression.

EU law, which has primacy over national law, is increasingly developing new limitations on speech that apply to all member states. The Framework Decision on Combating Racism and Xenophobia, adopted in 2008, obliges EU states to criminalize hate speech, albeit not in a uniform manner. Lately, the European Commission has signaled that it wants to see the Framework Decision enforced more vigorously. In a speech on Oct. 2, 2015, EU Commissioner for Justice and Consumers Vera Jourova said that member states must firmly and immediately investigate and prosecute racist hatred. She added, I find it disgraceful that Holocaust denial is a criminal offense in only 13 member states. The commission has even suggested that legal proceedings could be brought against member states that have not fully transposed the Framework Decision that is, the commission is considering bringing member states before the European Court of Justice for offering freedom of expression protection that is too strong.

But the most serious blow to freedom of expression in Europe may be the recently signed Code of Conduct (COC) between the European Commission and Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube. Under the COC, these tech giants have agreed to review the majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to such content, if necessary. What constitutes illegal hate speech is not clear. The COC refers to the Framework Decision and national laws. However, the Framework Decisions definition of what constitutes incitement to hatred is far from clear, and national hate speech laws vary widely. While 13 countries ban Holocaust denial, many others do not. In Sweden, an artist was imprisoned for six months for racist and offensive posters exhibited in an art museum; the same posters were freely exhibited in Denmark. Should Facebook remove all content that may constitute Holocaust denial, or only when uploaded in, say, Germany or France? Should an internet meme based on the offensive Swedish posters be guided by Danish or Swedish standards? This uncertainty may force companies to err on the side of caution and adopt a bias toward preventive censorship.

The COC essentially privatizes internet censorship with none of the accountability, publicity, and legal safeguards that follow from proper legal procedures. Since social media has become essential for traditional media to reach a wide audience, the COC could cause a ripple effect of self-censorship on the part of outlets that fear their content could be removed from social media platforms for being hate speech. The COC will not only affect freedom of expression in the EU, but also the EUs ability to campaign credibly for freedom of expression and internet freedom in countries where censorship is the norm. After all, why should the Putins and Xi Jipings of the world take lessons on internet freedom from an organization that imposes nebulous limits on the internet?

Democratic Europe still remains a bastion of free speech compared with most other places in the world. But the closing of the European mind, by prohibiting expressions that agitate against Europes fundamental values, moves these democracies uncomfortably close to practices that the EU is supposed to guard against. This trend bears an uncanny (albeit imperfect) resemblance to the infamous Section 106 of the East German penal code, which criminalized anti-state propaganda, including agitation against the constitutional basis of the socialist state and social order of the GDR (German Democratic Republic) and glorification of fascism and militarism. Europe should make sure that such rot does not take hold in its democratic foundation, which cannot hold firm without a robust protection of free speech.

Photo credit: OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

Read the original post:

Europes Freedom of Speech Fail Foreign Policy

Freedom Of Speech Quotes (300 quotes)

Until every soul is freely permitted to investigate every book, and creed, and dogma for itself, the world cannot be free. Mankind will be enslaved until there is mental grandeur enough to allow each man to have his thought and say. This earth will be a paradise when men can, upon all these questions differ, and yet grasp each other’s hands as friends. It is amazing to me that a difference of opinion upon subjects that we know nothing with certainty about, should make us hate, persecute, and despise each other. Why a difference of opinion upon predestination, or the trinity, should make people imprison and burn each other seems beyond the comprehension of man; and yet in all countries where Christians have existed, they have destroyed each other to the exact extent of their power. Why should a believer in God hate an atheist? Surely the atheist has not injured God, and surely he is human, capable of joy and pain, and entitled to all the rights of man. Would it not be far better to treat this atheist, at least, as well as he treats us?

Christians tell me that they love their enemies, and yet all I ask isnot that they love their enemies, not that they love their friends even, but that they treat those who differ from them, with simple fairness.

We do not wish to be forgiven, but we wish Christians to so act that we will not have to forgive them. If all will admit that all have an equal right to think, then the question is forever solved; but as long as organized and powerful churches, pretending to hold the keys of heaven and hell, denounce every person as an outcast and criminal who thinks for himself and denies their authority, the world will be filled with hatred and suffering. To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds. Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

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Freedom Of Speech Quotes (300 quotes)

Freedom of Speech – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com

The ancient Greeks pioneered free speech as a democratic principle. The ancient Greek word parrhesia means free speech, or to speak candidly. The term first appeared in Greek literature around the end of the fifth century B.C.

During the classical period, parrhesia became a fundamental part of the democracy of Athens. Leaders, philosophers, playwrights and everyday Athenians were free to openly discuss politics and religion and to criticize the government in some settings.

In the United States, the First Amendment protects freedom of speech.

The First Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791 as part of the Bill of Rightsthe first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. The Bill of Rights provides constitutional protection for certain individual liberties, including freedoms of speech, assembly and worship.

The First Amendment doesnt specify what exactly is meant by freedom of speech. Defining what types of speech should and shouldnt be protected by law has fallen largely to the courts.

In general, the First Amendment guarantees the right to express ideas and information. On a basic level, it means that people can express an opinion (even an unpopular or unsavory one) without fear of government censorship.

It protects all forms of communication, from speeches to art and other media.

While freedom of speech pertains mostly to the spoken or written word, it also protects some forms of symbolic speech. Symbolic speech is an action that expresses an idea.

Flag burning is an example of symbolic speech that is protected under the First Amendment. Gregory Lee Johnson, a youth communist, burned a flag during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas to protest the Reagan administration.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in 1990, reversed a Texas courts conviction that Johnson broke the law by desecrating the flag. Texas v. Johnson invalidated statutes in Texas and 47 other states prohibiting flag burning.

Not all speech is protected under the First Amendment.

Forms of speech that arent protected include:

Speech inciting illegal actions or soliciting others to commit crimes arent protected under the First Amendment, either.

The Supreme Court decided a series of cases in 1919 that helped to define the limitations of free speech. Congress passed the Espionage Act of 1917, shortly after the United States entered into World War I. The law prohibited interference in military operations or recruitment.

Socialist Party activist Charles Schenck was arrested under the Espionage Act after he distributed fliers urging young men to dodge the draft. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction by creating the clear and present danger standard, explaining when the government is allowed to limit free speech. In this case, they viewed draft resistant as dangerous to national security.

American labor leader and Socialist Party activist Eugene Debs also was arrested under the Espionage Act after giving a speech in 1918 encouraging others not to join the military. Debs argued that he was exercising his right to free speech and that the Espionage Act of 1917 was unconstitutional. In Debs v. United States the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Espionage Act.

The Supreme Court has interpreted artistic freedom broadly as a form of free speech.

In most cases, freedom of expression may be restricted only if it will cause direct and imminent harm. Shouting fire! in a crowded theater and causing a stampede would be an example of direct and imminent harm.

In deciding cases involving artistic freedom of expression the Supreme Court leans on a principle called content neutrality. Content neutrality means the government cant censor or restrict expression just because some segment of the population finds the content offensive.

In 1965, students at a public high school in Des Moines, Iowa, organized a silent protest against the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to protest the fighting. The students were suspended from school. The principle argued that the armbands were a distraction and could possibly lead to a danger for the students.

The Supreme Court didnt bitethey ruled in favor of the students right to wear the armbands as a form of free speech in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District. The case set the standard for free speech in schools. However, First Amendment rights typically dont apply in private schools.

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Freedom of Speech – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com

What Does Free Speech Mean? | United States Courts

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Among other cherished values, the First Amendment protects freedom of speech. The U.S. Supreme Court often has struggled to determine what exactly constitutes protected speech. The following are examples of speech, both direct (words) and symbolic (actions), that the Court has decided are either entitled to First Amendment protections, or not.

The First Amendment states, in relevant part, that:

Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech.

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What Does Free Speech Mean? | United States Courts

Freedom of speech | Britannica.com

Freedom of speech, Right, as stated in the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, to express information, ideas, and opinions free of government restrictions based on content. A modern legal test of the legitimacy of proposed restrictions on freedom of speech was stated in the opinion by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in Schenk v. U.S. (1919): a restriction is legitimate only if the speech in question poses a clear and present dangeri.e., a risk or threat to safety or to other public interests that is serious and imminent. Many cases involving freedom of speech and of the press also have concerned defamation, obscenity, and prior restraint (see Pentagon Papers). See also censorship.

See the article here:

Freedom of speech | Britannica.com

Freedom of Speech by Norman Rockwell – Facts about the …

Freedom of Speech was the first in a series of four paintings which depict examples of the four basic freedoms of Americans. Freedom of Speech depicts a young man who appears to be of the American working class, given his plain clothing over which he wears a plain, brown jacket. Protruding from a front pocket of the jacket is a folded document that appears to bear importance in the matter at hand.

This main character of the painting is standing in the midst of a meeting of importance to the locality in which he lives and/or works. He is surrounded by older gentlemen, wearing traditional suits and ties, but who are looking at him with a degree of curiosity mixed with consideration for the young mans oratory. The young man appears to be unfazed by his modest attire in the midst of formality, focusing instead on the subject matter that concerned him to the extent that he felt it necessary to attend this meeting and speak his mind.

Freedom of Speech was painted by renowned American artist, humorist, and painter, Norman Rockwell. The inspiration for the painting came from the State of the Union address, delivered in January of 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in which he set forth the four basic freedoms that Americans have the right to enjoy. This painting was the first of the series and appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Posts February 20th issue.

Mr. Rockwell, in his usual style, includes discreet inferences in this painting which may not be immediately obvious upon initial viewing. For instance, the bench immediately in front of the young man is conspicuously empty. This has been viewed by some as an invitation to the viewer to attend the meeting as well. Others see the empty bench as a portrayal of the fact that someone did not feel compelled to attend the meeting.

Another interesting fact behind this painting is Mr. Rockwells inclusion of the faces of people he knows in his work.

And, finally, the manner in which he pointedly signs his own name in the dark background of the painting depicts his own humility in the face of such a powerful message.

View original post here:

Freedom of Speech by Norman Rockwell – Facts about the …

Freedom of speech | Britannica.com

Freedom of speech, Right, as stated in the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, to express information, ideas, and opinions free of government restrictions based on content. A modern legal test of the legitimacy of proposed restrictions on freedom of speech was stated in the opinion by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in Schenk v. U.S. (1919): a restriction is legitimate only if the speech in question poses a clear and present dangeri.e., a risk or threat to safety or to other public interests that is serious and imminent. Many cases involving freedom of speech and of the press also have concerned defamation, obscenity, and prior restraint (see Pentagon Papers). See also censorship.

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Freedom of speech | Britannica.com

Freedom Of Speech Quotes (298 quotes)

Until every soul is freely permitted to investigate every book, and creed, and dogma for itself, the world cannot be free. Mankind will be enslaved until there is mental grandeur enough to allow each man to have his thought and say. This earth will be a paradise when men can, upon all these questions differ, and yet grasp each other’s hands as friends. It is amazing to me that a difference of opinion upon subjects that we know nothing with certainty about, should make us hate, persecute, and despise each other. Why a difference of opinion upon predestination, or the trinity, should make people imprison and burn each other seems beyond the comprehension of man; and yet in all countries where Christians have existed, they have destroyed each other to the exact extent of their power. Why should a believer in God hate an atheist? Surely the atheist has not injured God, and surely he is human, capable of joy and pain, and entitled to all the rights of man. Would it not be far better to treat this atheist, at least, as well as he treats us?

Christians tell me that they love their enemies, and yet all I ask isnot that they love their enemies, not that they love their friends even, but that they treat those who differ from them, with simple fairness.

We do not wish to be forgiven, but we wish Christians to so act that we will not have to forgive them. If all will admit that all have an equal right to think, then the question is forever solved; but as long as organized and powerful churches, pretending to hold the keys of heaven and hell, denounce every person as an outcast and criminal who thinks for himself and denies their authority, the world will be filled with hatred and suffering. To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds. Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

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Freedom Of Speech Quotes (298 quotes)

Freedom of Speech – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com

The ancient Greeks pioneered free speech as a democratic principle. The ancient Greek word parrhesia means free speech, or to speak candidly. The term first appeared in Greek literature around the end of the fifth century B.C.

During the classical period, parrhesia became a fundamental part of the democracy of Athens. Leaders, philosophers, playwrights and everyday Athenians were free to openly discuss politics and religion and to criticize the government in some settings.

In the United States, the First Amendment protects freedom of speech.

The First Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791 as part of the Bill of Rightsthe first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. The Bill of Rights provides constitutional protection for certain individual liberties, including freedoms of speech, assembly and worship.

The First Amendment doesnt specify what exactly is meant by freedom of speech. Defining what types of speech should and shouldnt be protected by law has fallen largely to the courts.

In general, the First Amendment guarantees the right to express ideas and information. On a basic level, it means that people can express an opinion (even an unpopular or unsavory one) without fear of government censorship.

It protects all forms of communication, from speeches to art and other media.

While freedom of speech pertains mostly to the spoken or written word, it also protects some forms of symbolic speech. Symbolic speech is an action that expresses an idea.

Flag burning is an example of symbolic speech that is protected under the First Amendment. Gregory Lee Johnson, a youth communist, burned a flag during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas to protest the Reagan administration.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in 1990, reversed a Texas courts conviction that Johnson broke the law by desecrating the flag. Texas v. Johnson invalidated statutes in Texas and 47 other states prohibiting flag burning.

Not all speech is protected under the First Amendment.

Forms of speech that arent protected include:

Speech inciting illegal actions or soliciting others to commit crimes arent protected under the First Amendment, either.

The Supreme Court decided a series of cases in 1919 that helped to define the limitations of free speech. Congress passed the Espionage Act of 1917, shortly after the United States entered into World War I. The law prohibited interference in military operations or recruitment.

Socialist Party activist Charles Schenck was arrested under the Espionage Act after he distributed fliers urging young men to dodge the draft. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction by creating the clear and present danger standard, explaining when the government is allowed to limit free speech. In this case, they viewed draft resistant as dangerous to national security.

American labor leader and Socialist Party activist Eugene Debs also was arrested under the Espionage Act after giving a speech in 1918 encouraging others not to join the military. Debs argued that he was exercising his right to free speech and that the Espionage Act of 1917 was unconstitutional. In Debs v. United States the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Espionage Act.

The Supreme Court has interpreted artistic freedom broadly as a form of free speech.

In most cases, freedom of expression may be restricted only if it will cause direct and imminent harm. Shouting fire! in a crowded theater and causing a stampede would be an example of direct and imminent harm.

In deciding cases involving artistic freedom of expression the Supreme Court leans on a principle called content neutrality. Content neutrality means the government cant censor or restrict expression just because some segment of the population finds the content offensive.

In 1965, students at a public high school in Des Moines, Iowa, organized a silent protest against the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to protest the fighting. The students were suspended from school. The principle argued that the armbands were a distraction and could possibly lead to a danger for the students.

The Supreme Court didnt bitethey ruled in favor of the students right to wear the armbands as a form of free speech in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District. The case set the standard for free speech in schools. However, First Amendment rights typically dont apply in private schools.

See the original post here:

Freedom of Speech – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com

Freedom of Speech by Norman Rockwell – Facts about the …

Freedom of Speech was the first in a series of four paintings which depict examples of the four basic freedoms of Americans. Freedom of Speech depicts a young man who appears to be of the American working class, given his plain clothing over which he wears a plain, brown jacket. Protruding from a front pocket of the jacket is a folded document that appears to bear importance in the matter at hand.

This main character of the painting is standing in the midst of a meeting of importance to the locality in which he lives and/or works. He is surrounded by older gentlemen, wearing traditional suits and ties, but who are looking at him with a degree of curiosity mixed with consideration for the young mans oratory. The young man appears to be unfazed by his modest attire in the midst of formality, focusing instead on the subject matter that concerned him to the extent that he felt it necessary to attend this meeting and speak his mind.

Freedom of Speech was painted by renowned American artist, humorist, and painter, Norman Rockwell. The inspiration for the painting came from the State of the Union address, delivered in January of 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in which he set forth the four basic freedoms that Americans have the right to enjoy. This painting was the first of the series and appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Posts February 20th issue.

Mr. Rockwell, in his usual style, includes discreet inferences in this painting which may not be immediately obvious upon initial viewing. For instance, the bench immediately in front of the young man is conspicuously empty. This has been viewed by some as an invitation to the viewer to attend the meeting as well. Others see the empty bench as a portrayal of the fact that someone did not feel compelled to attend the meeting.

Another interesting fact behind this painting is Mr. Rockwells inclusion of the faces of people he knows in his work.

And, finally, the manner in which he pointedly signs his own name in the dark background of the painting depicts his own humility in the face of such a powerful message.

Link:

Freedom of Speech by Norman Rockwell – Facts about the …

Freedom of Speech – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com

The ancient Greeks pioneered free speech as a democratic principle. The ancient Greek word parrhesia means free speech, or to speak candidly. The term first appeared in Greek literature around the end of the fifth century B.C.

During the classical period, parrhesia became a fundamental part of the democracy of Athens. Leaders, philosophers, playwrights and everyday Athenians were free to openly discuss politics and religion and to criticize the government in some settings.

In the United States, the First Amendment protects freedom of speech.

The First Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791 as part of the Bill of Rightsthe first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. The Bill of Rights provides constitutional protection for certain individual liberties, including freedoms of speech, assembly and worship.

The First Amendment doesnt specify what exactly is meant by freedom of speech. Defining what types of speech should and shouldnt be protected by law has fallen largely to the courts.

In general, the First Amendment guarantees the right to express ideas and information. On a basic level, it means that people can express an opinion (even an unpopular or unsavory one) without fear of government censorship.

It protects all forms of communication, from speeches to art and other media.

While freedom of speech pertains mostly to the spoken or written word, it also protects some forms of symbolic speech. Symbolic speech is an action that expresses an idea.

Flag burning is an example of symbolic speech that is protected under the First Amendment. Gregory Lee Johnson, a youth communist, burned a flag during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas to protest the Reagan administration.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in 1990, reversed a Texas courts conviction that Johnson broke the law by desecrating the flag. Texas v. Johnson invalidated statutes in Texas and 47 other states prohibiting flag burning.

Not all speech is protected under the First Amendment.

Forms of speech that arent protected include:

Speech inciting illegal actions or soliciting others to commit crimes arent protected under the First Amendment, either.

The Supreme Court decided a series of cases in 1919 that helped to define the limitations of free speech. Congress passed the Espionage Act of 1917, shortly after the United States entered into World War I. The law prohibited interference in military operations or recruitment.

Socialist Party activist Charles Schenck was arrested under the Espionage Act after he distributed fliers urging young men to dodge the draft. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction by creating the clear and present danger standard, explaining when the government is allowed to limit free speech. In this case, they viewed draft resistant as dangerous to national security.

American labor leader and Socialist Party activist Eugene Debs also was arrested under the Espionage Act after giving a speech in 1918 encouraging others not to join the military. Debs argued that he was exercising his right to free speech and that the Espionage Act of 1917 was unconstitutional. In Debs v. United States the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Espionage Act.

The Supreme Court has interpreted artistic freedom broadly as a form of free speech.

In most cases, freedom of expression may be restricted only if it will cause direct and imminent harm. Shouting fire! in a crowded theater and causing a stampede would be an example of direct and imminent harm.

In deciding cases involving artistic freedom of expression the Supreme Court leans on a principle called content neutrality. Content neutrality means the government cant censor or restrict expression just because some segment of the population finds the content offensive.

In 1965, students at a public high school in Des Moines, Iowa, organized a silent protest against the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to protest the fighting. The students were suspended from school. The principle argued that the armbands were a distraction and could possibly lead to a danger for the students.

The Supreme Court didnt bitethey ruled in favor of the students right to wear the armbands as a form of free speech in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District. The case set the standard for free speech in schools. However, First Amendment rights typically dont apply in private schools.

See the original post here:

Freedom of Speech – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com

Freedom of speech | Britannica.com

Freedom of speech, Right, as stated in the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, to express information, ideas, and opinions free of government restrictions based on content. A modern legal test of the legitimacy of proposed restrictions on freedom of speech was stated in the opinion by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in Schenk v. U.S. (1919): a restriction is legitimate only if the speech in question poses a clear and present dangeri.e., a risk or threat to safety or to other public interests that is serious and imminent. Many cases involving freedom of speech and of the press also have concerned defamation, obscenity, and prior restraint (see Pentagon Papers). See also censorship.

See the rest here:

Freedom of speech | Britannica.com


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