Do you feel that freedom of speech is becoming restricted in the UK?
Freedom of speech and the right to freedom of expression applies to ideas of all kinds but it comes with responsibilities which can be legitimately restricted.
Freedom of speech—the right to express opinions without government restraint—is a democratic ideal that dates back to ancient Greece.
Governments have an obligation to prohibit hate speech and incitement. And restrictions can also be justified if they protect specific public interest or the rights and reputations of others.
Today, some 150 writers, academics and activists – including authors JK Rowling, Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood – have signed an open letter denouncing the “restriction of debate”.
They say they applaud a recent “needed reckoning” on racial justice, but argue it has fuelled stifling of open debate.
The letter denounces “a vogue for public shaming and ostracism” and “a blinding moral certainty”.
Several signatories have been attacked for comments that caused offence.
“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” says the letter.
It also says: “We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters.
“But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.”
What are your views? Do you feel free to express your opinions? Do you sometimes feel you are stepping on eggshells? Do you feel your opinions on current issues are valid? Are you comfortable and able to express and articulate your views freely?
What are your views?
We'd love to hear your comments
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These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
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We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!