Freedom of Speech is a concept that modern society is founded on. However, there has been much debate on how far should we go to protect freedom of speech. Some say that this freedom is essential and should have very few limits. Whereas others contend that there should be further restrictions put on this freedom to create a better, more inclusive society. This leads to the issue of “No Platforming”. Should speakers be allowed a platform no matter what their views are? Or should we carefully vet who is chosen to be put up on this platform?
Why Should We “No Platform” Speakers? The speakers that advocate for the practice of “No Platforming”, argue that the right to free speech is not equivalent to the right to a platform. The speakers contest that a platform is an elevation and that it is important to choose wisely who is elevated. Therefore, by “No Platforming” speakers which are racist, fascist, transphobic etc. it ensures that these individuals and the opinions that they hold are not validated. Barnaby further makes the distinction between what is free speech and what is worthy of a platform when he says, “There is a distinction between what you can say, freedom of speech and what you should say, what we should provide with a platform to say… The old example is farting in a lift. They should have the right to do so, it doesn’t mean we should encourage everyone else to do it.” (Free Speech Debate, 2016) Overall the argument coming from the side advocating for the practice
No-platforming is the practice of banning controversial speakers from being given a platform to voice their opinions. Recently, there has been debate over whether it is legitimate for activists to no-platform individuals. In the video, To Speak or Not to Speak: Should Universities Practice “No-Platforming”? by the Free Speech Debate, speakers from both sides of the argument discuss this politically important question. In my opinion, the side against no-platforming presents the most convincing argument because it is more logical and realistic in the context of today’s society. In this paper, I will summarize the main arguments of both sides and will defend why I believe the side against no-platforming is the most convincing.
The freedom of speech has never been free to everyone. Many Americans grow up with this saying and feel it to be true. Suzanne Nossel wrote her article “How we communicate is changing. So should the way we think about free speech”, published in August of 2017 in The Washington Post, and she argues that “students who seek to shut down speech that offends - through calls to disinvite speakers, punish offensive remarks or shout down opponents - have been dismissed as coddled, unenlightened, entitled, anti-intellectual, dogmatic and infantile.” (Nossel, 2017, p. 1). Nossel builds her credibility with facts and reputable sources, citing convincing facts and statistics, and successfully employing emotional appeals.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that government “shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . .” U.S. Const. amend. I. Nevertheless, the First Amendment protection of free speech is not absolute; even protected speech is not equally permissible in all places and at all times. ACLU of Nev. v. City of Las Vegas, 333 F.3d 1092, 1098 (9th Cir. 2003). However, traditional public forums such as streets,
Free speech is the backbone that holds democracy together. Without a free speech, ideas would not be challenged, governments would not be kept in check, and citizens would not be free. John Stuart Mill said once that, “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person then he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”( Roleff, 21). The right to free speech is essential to “egalitarian democracy,”(Tsesis) however, this right is not absolute and must be limited in certain situations.
In those cases, we must prioritize the inclusivity of our community. Unfortunately, hearing bigoted comments is not a new experience to marginalized groups; therefore, they provide no learning opportunities, and no chance to establish common ground. However, there are some speakers who may come from a place of somewhat valid concern and not pure hatred. Hearing why they think the way they do and having the ability to challenge those thoughts will be very meaningful for both sides of the argument. Furthermore, there are some speakers whose messages can be easily challenged, and in fact they should be immediately challenged through offering alternative points of view. If we fail to do so, we may lose the chance of changing someone’s mind who might deem that speaker’s perspective to be valid. For example, a popular controversial speaker who has been denied the right to speak on multiple campuses is Milo Yiannopoulos. He has a show in which he takes questions from his audience (who are almost all conservative) and responds to them in a subjective and biased
Incitement of violence is considered hate speech of any sort that is considered detrimental to any group of gender, sexuality, race, class religion. Incitement seeks redress under civil and criminal law offences. Some may debate that according to the first amendment of the United States of America that we have the right to freedom of speech, however trial occurs when democracy insists on putting limits on how we can express ourselves and in what ways. Where must the government draw the line these words of hate encourage and manipulate minds to commit crimes of violence? Who would be to blame?
"Our great nation was founded on the lofty principles of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and guaranteed representation. In this modern day and age, these principles still stand as the bedrock foundation of our society, and their preservation is essential to the health of our union. The America of today is a far cry from that of yesteryear, but some things remain the same, each individual, no matter their financial standing or social status, has the right to say their piece in the public square, and in turn, have their piece be heard by those who deem fit to hear it.
In places such as the Middle East, where free speech is very limited, if tolerated at all, the people do not have that same right to express their opinions and beliefs. What if these traditional customs of oppression have travelled overseas to invade places such as Britain, America or Canada? Free speech is an incredible and powerful right that Canadians are very fortunate to have. A current world issue rising in concern in a university setting is “no-platforming”. Platforming is described as the action of giving an individual speaker the power of influence as well as a stage to present their ideas on in a social setting. This is a very controversial topic in the political sphere because one side argues that by universities allowing platforming, the audience’s right to freedom of speech is inhibited, while the other side argues that by enacting no-platforming, the
In the year 2016, many voters have found themselves undecided and discontent between the last two candidates, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. Between the two candidates, many people have perceived some of Donald Trump’s remarks as being a racist, and a sexist. For that reason, many believe that Donald Trump actions were out of line and should not be said; however, others disagree and encourage him. Why does society find it necessary to restrict the Freedom of Speech? As Americans, we have certain rights granted to us by the First Amendment one of them is Freedom of Speech. The First Amendment guarantees each person the freedom of expression by allowing the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. That being said, people should be allowed to speak openly when it comes to their political view for various reasons, everyone is different, can use it for educational purposes, and can take part or be involved.
Lucia Valdivia is an assistant professor of English and Humanities at Reed College. In her article, she talks about how “the right to speak freely is not the same as the right to rob others of their voices.” I agree because, ultimately, everyone believes they are fighting for the right cause, so silencing the other party's voice means we must silence all parties voices.
The first amendment of the United States says that as a United States citizen we have the freedom to speak what we believe. We have been given the right to speak our mind in public and let our views be heard. But does this mean we can insult our listeners or be harsh to them according to race or gender? Does this mean we can speak without any regard for others views and personal feelings? No it does not. By allowing everyone to speak their mind in public, it would cause havoc and disarray among us. This is why certain people should censor the speech beforehand to make sure it has no abrasive material and will be beneficial to the public.
The debate side against no platforming argued that currently “there is no way to distinguish between the cases of speakers that cause genuine harm, and cases that cause trivial offence or discomfort.” (Monica)1 . They also say that “no platforming stymies social justice” (Monica)2. The ideology behind these comments are based on the fact that people’s feelings and subjective opinions, cannot trump the freedom speech or association, caused by no platforming. On top of this they argue no platforming is an illegitimate form of activism based on the
It is fair to say that this debate has opened my eyes to the idea of no-platforming across numerous institutions. I was always one to think that everyone should have the right to express their ideas and beliefs and should be given a platform to do so as long as no threats or hate speeches are uttered. No-platforming is a growing practice often seen at various institutions with cases that platforming can cause harm. Harm; a term so vague, that is often interpreted differently by everyone, a problem we have with platforming. How can one determine what is harmful to all? In the society, we live in today all claims of harm must be treated equally or with that comes conflict. Seeing as, harm is subjective same could be said about platforming, an
I never really valued free speech until I saw how many people try to block it just because it does not align with what they believe. Sure my generation can be considered progressive, but from what I have seen it is leaning on the side of oppression with free speech. I voiced my opinions before, and I have received threats of violence just because I think differently and spoke my mind. Sure, I live in the United States, but now holding a difference of opinion can ruin someone's life even though free speech should enable any sort of discussion. The attack on free speech has caused universities to block speakers just because of a difference in opinion and the online world to be censored to reduce any sort of deviation of ideas.