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Should free speech be limited on the Internet - Essay Example

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Freedom of Speech Over the Internet To all individuals, liberty of expressing their thoughts, feelings, opinions and ideas is of utmost importance. Expression of ideas and externalizing one’s thoughts is important for everyone because it shows people who you are and what you think; it highlights your identity and your individuality…
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Should free speech be limited on the Internet
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"Should free speech be limited on the Internet"

As per every person’s understanding of what is right or wrong, freedom of speech is morally right because of cultural and social differences which make the concept of right and wrong relative. Famous names like John Milton, John Locke, David Hume, and John Stuart Mill, eminent personalities known for the individuality of their life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness expressed through their writing. John Locke (1632-1704) helped start the Enlightenment in England and France and his ideas were a major inspiration for the U.S. Constitution. He stated that “no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions”, and liberty encompasses free speech as well. In addition, in the article, Importance of Philosophy, Landauer and Rowlands talk about John Locke’s support of the right to free speech that ‘Freedom of speech is the most important thing to have among liberty of any kind because it gives us a chance of persuading other people about what is right and wrong. That is why the use of force or legal restrictions to curb speech impedes upon people’s moral right. ...
?(Internet Censorship and the Freedom of Speech, 1999 - web).  On the other hand, speech is often abused and freedom of speech is as such taken for granted. This is seen when people commit hate crimes which is often traceable to hate speech that they may have come across (International Debate Education Association – web). For instance, Machado went to jail after sending a threatening email to Asian students in his college (Computingcases.org) because he set an explicit example for email being equal to telephone and mail for such a crime and more so for the propagation of racial intolerance. The continual growth of abusive acts can lead to law and order disruption as well. Moreover, people may often use speech in a fraudulent way or to deliberately hurt other. Therefore there must be some means to curtail such issues. Lastly, limiting free speech online will pave way for criminalizing thought because people, especially youngsters, would not have an outlet or a forum where they could be heard independently. Such a restriction would deprive the masses of any possible guidance for the remediation of their ways as it is for many a low-cost-no-cost means of growing and developing. Such acts would be less fruitful; the positive way of going about it would be to encourage more optimistic and non-offensive ways of expression. This can be done through the usage of less harsher words and by taking into consideration multiple perspectives. These are some of the basic characteristics of good speech – i.e. where the speaker/writer is able to express his own insight or perspective, highlight his own individuality and find his own footing by honoring the rights of the recipients of his speech act. This may be done through the proper usage of words or the expression of statements, Read More
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