Band 9 essay sample | Is freedom of speech essential in a free society?
Is freedom of speech essential in a free society? Give reasons for your answer.
In a free society everyone should be able to express their thoughts and opinions freely. Unfortunately, if everyone freely expresses their thoughts, there will be more conflicts than consensuses because my words can offend or hurt another person. Because of this reason I believe that freedom of speech is essential for the functioning of a free society, but there should be some restrictions on it.
In this age of blogging and social media when anyone can become a writer and a publisher, freedom of speech is one of the most abused fundamental rights. Just because we are living in a free society, it does not mean that we should be allowed to say whatever we want. A lot of people have too much confidence in their constitutional right to freedom of speech. They freely post all kinds of stuff on social media and online forums. This leads to a lot of problems, even lawsuits. Posting derogatory stuff about another person just because you have the right to express your thoughts is not only mean but also illegal. In my opinion, there should be strict laws to deal with this menace. No one should be allowed to hurt another person in the name of freedom of speech or expression.
Not only the citizens, the media also sometimes abuse their freedom of speech. They often publish private or sensational information about public personalities. Recently when the Indian Army was carrying out a military action against terrorists, a news channel broadcast up-to-the-minute details of the operation from the scene. They thought they were exercising their freedom of expression. Unfortunately, such thoughtless actions even put the safety of soldiers and civilians at risk. Also they reveal vital clues about the place using which terrorists can refine their attacks in the future.
To conclude, freedom of speech should be entertained as long as it does not hurt the interests of others or the nation. When people express their thoughts, they have a duty to think about the consequences. What’s more, there should be stringent laws to deal with those who abuse their right to express themselves.