What is freedom of speech?

Topic Selected: Censorship

General Article icon Type: General Article

Freedom of speech is the right to say whatever you like about whatever you like, whenever you like, right? Wrong.

‘Freedom of speech is the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, by any means.’

Freedom of speech and the right to freedom of expression applies to ideas of all kinds including those that may be deeply offensive. But it comes with responsibilities and we believe it can be legitimately restricted.

When freedom of speech can be restricted

You might not expect us to say this, but in certain circumstances free speech and freedom of expression can be restricted. 

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. 

Any restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of expression must be set out in laws that must in t

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