The Issue of Free Speech Versus Censorship

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In modern society, the issue of free speech vs. censorship often comes up. It is a hot topic among those interested in social issues, and represents two well meaning but very different arguments. The argument for freedom of speech says that communication and connectivity promotes progress, while the argument for censorship says that silence and isolation promotes security.

Freedom of speech usually refers to a citizen's right to the expression and distribution of their opinions. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights defines freedom of speech as a human right, stating that "Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference". It also states that all people have the right to express and share these opinions and exchange information through any medium of communication they choose. It is important that speech and expression of speech be distinctly defined, as the method of expression can be very subjective. For example, free speech in the United States has two limitations; disruption of the peace and incitation of violence. If the speech, or manner of expression of that speech is causing a stir in an otherwise peaceful area or group of people, the speaker can be legally "censored" by the police.

The concept of freedom of speech has existed since at least 500 BC, where it was used in Athens, Greece. Athens was one of the first democracies, and possibly the birthplace of the concept of freedom of speech. ("Freedom of Speech", Wikipedia) Free speech is

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