Freedom of Speech

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Freedom of Speech
Freedom of speech is the right to speak your mind without fear of
prosecution. Recent events have brought up the concept of freedom of
speech into the spotlight. However, some people are still quite ignorant of
the topic. In this article, we will explore the fruition, conception, and
evolution of this decree.
As previously mentioned, freedom of speech is the freedom to
articulate your thoughts without censorship or retaliation. It is famously the
first US Amendment and one of the basic human rights in the UN Human
Rights Instruments. However, freedom of speech can be dated to long
before modern establishments.
The earliest known instance of freedom of speech is in 5th to 6th
century BC Athens, in the Athenian democratic principal. Freedom of
speech was also a value of the Roman Empire. Early human rights
documents contain freedom of speech or some variety on it, such as
England’s Bill of Rights 1689. Then in 1776, when the US seceded from the
British, the first amendment was freedom of speech, press, and religion.
And finally, in 1948, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights was
written.
Contractively, while many people against freedom of speech
believe it means anyone can say anything, it generally does not protect
all forms of speech, primarily, hate speech. Hate speech is speech that
attacks a group of people based on attributes such as race, religion, sex,
creed, ethnicity, disability, etc. Another exception to freedom of speech is
threatful speech. This is when an individual or group threatens to seriously
or severely harm another individual or group with the intent to do so.
In conclusion, while many believe freedom of speech to be an
invention of the modern mind; It has existed for at least 2500 years.
Throughout this time, it has developed as the collective societal opinion
changed along with it. Also, against certain claims, freedom of speech
does have limits. This is not to censor the innocent, but rather to protect
from the malicious.
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