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What is Freedom of Expression?

Free expression is the ability to speak one’s thoughts and opinions freely, without penalty or censure by others. 


  • To be clear, under the First Amendment in the United States, there are restrictions on free expression, such as prohibiting making threats against others or inciting violence. And under the  same law, free speech can include offensive, rude, and hateful speech. 


  • Offensive and hateful speech is best combated by strong counter arguments made with solid evidence (or sometimes simply ignored and not given the dignity of a response), rather than by censoring offensive statements and outlawing bad arguments. 


  • In a democracy, free speech is the foundation upon which many other freedoms rely.

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