Freedom of Speech: Puppets or Masters?

 

Freedom of speech is a complex and diverse topic, which might take up a lot of effort to comprehend properly. Freedom of speech is not only expressing yourself and saying whatever comes to mind but being able to speak for yourself and defend yourself when criticized for your words, it is being accountable for your words to the world.

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What you say can evoke two reactions in others, positivity towards you or view you in a negative light. It all depends on how you convey whatever you are saying. Freedom of speech also asks for freedom to listen. If one individual expresses him or herself, it is somewhat the duty of the other to listen and not simply ignore. Freedom teaches patience, respect, understanding, it does not allow us grant us the freedom to simply speak and then not give anything back in return.

79ee327722fda962bdce34f477262c19Freedom of speech has opened doors for many. It has allowed women to speak on women empowerment, feminism whereas it has given men a chance to express themselves as well through campaigns such as “Boys don’t Cry” This campaign was launched by VogueIndia, featuring Madhuri Dixit. It was aired on Youtube first then shared on Facebook and other social media platforms. It gave people an insight into how they should raise their sons to express their feelings and not signal them out for doing so. It also focused on how boys should be taught from an early age to be respectful towards women and not demean them. The idea behind this social media campaign was to empower men and women, not just in India but in the subcontinent as a whole. Moving on, freedom of speech has indeed made the world a modern one, with at least some values, morals and ethics if not something which is possessed by everyone. There is change and it is towards a better world. Freedom of speech has allowed people to use social media to take a step forward towards tolerance of one another and make people understand that everyone is different and it does not make them any less human than one’s self.

Possessing freedom of speech is a responsibility; it is not simply a right. It gives us the power to say whatever we want but with that authority comes consequences. Surely this freedom is costly and does not allow us to abuse, discriminate to belittle anyone. It merely allows us to talk about ourselves but often one takes advantage of this and that is where the concept goes south. That is where the freedom gets snatched away from everyone. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from judgment, criticism, manipulation, or even disagreement leading to arguments.

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Freedom of speech can often be hate speech if abused and many do so without any hesitation. There is no limitation to what one can say and the human mind does not know when to stop sometimes thus offending many around him or her. Mark Twain has commented on freedom of speech saying, “none but the dead have freedom of speech” and he is absolutely right. Every pupil is constraint through speech whether in a manner of speaking or using social media and the only people who do not have any limitations are the dead. Even the most powerful men in the world, be it the richest, presidents, owners of oil, kings of Saudi Arabia all are criticized and judged by the world when they abuse their right.

It is important to understand the concept of a balance between both sides of freedom of speech. As part of an educated lot, one should be knowledgeable of the consequences of what one says in a world full of criticizers and should know when to draw the line. Unfortunately, nothing is cost-free.

 

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Is freedom of speech a beam of light or a realm of darkness?

Freedom is a beautiful phenomena when it comes to life and human nature but at the same time it can be  a weapon of mass destruction if used or taken in wrong context.


Speech is a way to express yourself and if given a little amount of freedom to it, you can put forth something according to your self intrests without external interference. There is this famous saying that “actions speak louder then words” and its very true as when you are free to speak you are free to act. Your speech tells alot about you as a person and if you support freedom for yourself then you should also be comfortable with freedom of others. The rights you desrve as a human should be equal to as of your other fellow beings.



Freedom in speech dosen’t means that you can insult or humiliate someone openly as thats not ethical and freedom supports ethics and justice thus this type of freedom is unacceptable. Free speech is one of our most important rights and one of the most misunderstood. One should be careful that their words don’t impact someone negatively as if you cannot say good then you should also restrain from saying out bad.


Freedom in speech can be used to protect intrests of minorities and people who are left behind in this rapidly growing world. You can freely condemn something you don’t like or you think is violating human rights. For instance you can freely raise your voice against the killing of innocent humans and this sadens me to say that people are killing eachother on the name of freedom.

What freedom are you fighting for when you are blind towards the freedom of others.


“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see…”


Freedom on social media is emerging to be a great change in the system in which the world works as now things go viral before you know it. This can be taken as a great deal as now people can operate beyond their physical boundaries and can shed their influence globally. As the reach is so vast so one should be careful of portraying their right to exercise freedom in speech as people can get offended or agree to your message. I think everyone has their own unique way to express and to think and to ensure balance in this platform government interfernce is mandatory. The government or regulating authorities should ensure that their are laws present and are being acted upon by individuals without affecting peoples’ right to freedom.



“Without free speech no search for truth is possible… no discovery of truth is useful.”

Freedom of Expression is a Mere Illusion.

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Freedom Of Speech

It is a mere illusion that we have set with the idea of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech was designed to create a voice of the unheard, a voice of change, a voice of the people in order for them to express what they wanted without having the consent to be judged by others in any way possible. But as time passed the freedom of speech became a little too repugnant. NVogue

Having freedom all together is a huge step into a growth of a nation, of its people, and of the society. It was used only to create an awareness of the problems, and to be heard of the cruelty that the people faced.

Before the idea of social media was even born,  speech was considered a crucial part of an individual’s life. It was the expression of your thoughts built into words that could influence the minds of others. It was used as weapon to fight for there own freedom. The freedom of slaves, African-Americans, Muslims, Kingship, Dictatorship, and so on. Through this idea of freedom of speech, many of them accomplished that they were hoping for.Pakistan Cyber Laws

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Racists Comments

Then came the era of social media, where thoughts, expressions, moods, feelings, and fights were explained through a simple gesture without ever having to indulge with those people in real life. This is where we lost it all. This is where the idea of freedom of speech was lost and abused by hundreds and thousands of people on an hourly basis. We became obstructive in nature with all the hatred being passed on from one social platform to another. These people that have no regard of the ethical values of another human being or, even a moral standard of communicating, decide for themselves that they should create a violent atmosphere for everyone and condemn people of even having a single point of view of their own. We have established an immoral view of creating and being violent and hateful towards others.

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Some of the examples of racism.

Through the usage of social media, a trend has followed us to be an illiterate with a laptop or a mobile. Social media itself has created this opportunity for individual’s to hate, to judge, to be a racist, to create a rumor that won’t even make sense, but having the power of freedom of speech, they will abuse it. Our minds are filled with the disgusting facts that don’t even exist and we keep on replicating our views according to false thoughts and yet, we demand a higher standard of education from our parents, to study in the top ranking universities, to create an obsessive greed for money, but even though you get everything you demand, you cannot learn the most crucial and important elements of life, which are morals, ethics and principles.

We have to condemn this usage of power over others, because this is only creating more and more hatred in this world. Freedom of speech is spreading awareness about your own thoughts, whatever goes in your head, but that still does not permit us into becoming complete jerks with no regard for a moral or ethical standard of communication.

I am with the idea of Freedom of Speech, but with a set of ethical and moral values attached with the comments. Stop this Hatred towards others, Stop this Judgement being passed onto others, and Stop with the Racial Slurs that you hit upon people.

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Stop the hate.

YOU CAN’T ARREST AN IDEA

Today we are living in the 21st century, an era where people raise their voices for their rights, they question, they think and they demand the provision of their rights. No matter to which gender they belong the society, the culture and the law of the modern century allows us to express our ideas and thoughts. We a have an  equal right to speak, to give our view and express our opinion on any subject matter, either in  its favor or against it. This right is formally known as ‘Freedom of Speech’ and most of us are very well aware of this term.

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” – George Washington

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YOU CAN’T ARREST AN IDEA

pic 3Well! The conceptual meaning of arresting someone is to seize(someone) by legal authority and take them into custody or to stop someone. However,  I believe that one can arrest someone physically but it’s impossible to arrest someone’s idea. Freedom of speech allows a person to spread his idea among the people and once the idea has been articulated in the crowd it definitely becomes difficult to stop that idea. That’s why president of South Africa F. W. de Klerk released Nelson Mandela in 1990, just because of growing domestic and international pressure, and the fear of a racial civil war had become very eminent. Now the question is that how these pressures and fear took place? This fear and pressure was the result of an idea spread by Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela was arrested for his campaign and ideology against racism. He embraced the idea of a multi-racial front against apartheid. The oppressors tried to put an end to Mandala’s thought and legacy and therefore was kept behind the bars for 27 years but his idea was not ceased, instead it became a dream and a passion for his people and they kept it alive in their hearts. This shows that no one can arrest the idea and words. https://www.google.com.pk/wikipedia/NelsonMandela

Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.” – Victor Pinchuk

The central idea involved here is to demonstrate the people’s right to know. Freedom of speech should, therefore, receive substantial support from all those who believe in the participation of people in the administration. Similarly, freedom of speech also played a very important role in international relationship as well.  These rights have been questioned and exercised throughout the history, and have produced extremely positive results in a lot of cases. For instance, the revolution of Pakistan is one of the best example to see the positive impact of freedom of speech where Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah came up with his own ideology & the dream of Allama Iqbal & preached the idea to the people to an extent that it became a do or die situation for each individual who understood the Quaid’s idea and stood by him. This was not easy at all to come up with an idea and to deliberately express the thoughts in front of empowered British Government. This all happened just because of freedom of speech which allowed Quaid-e-Azam to speak fearlessly in front of British government.

“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.” – Thucydides

pic 7Freedom of speech involves the license to express one’s own particular feelings and assessments openly by expressions of mouth, composing, printing or whatever other mode. The right to free speech is one of the most precious rights of an individual. This right gives people the opportunity to speak their mind and give their opinions of what they think should happen. It, in this manner, includes the statement of one’s thought through any transferable medium or noticeable portrayal, for example, gesture, signs, and so forth. Freedom of speech is the fundamental goal and this might be done on any stage or through the social media. Freedom of speech includes freedom to spread not one’s perspectives as it were but it also incorporates the freedom to spread or distribute the perspectives of other individuals; that is the reason that freedom of press likewise go under the class of the freedom of speech.

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SOCIAL MEDIA & FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Social media is now a new platform where you can spread your thoughts freely. It is considered one of the best and easiest way to express one’s own thoughts. Social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and many more provide you a platform to show your interest and to take part in any issue of the world. Freedom of speech allows you to support any side of picture on social media. We can quote many examples of present world situation that became viral just because of social media. Social media basically plays a vital in reducing people’s fear and allows them to come up with whatever they want. For instance, we all know what is happening in Syria. People are being killed inhumanly with chemical bombs and no one is raising their voice to condemn the act on international forums. But the only place where we have seen people raising voice against this brutality is social media. Freedom of speech and platform like social media are helping the people to overcome their fears and now they confidently and explicitly spread their thoughts and float their messages. Recently many soldiers have been exercising the practice and also we have seen many videos and pictures on Facebook as well where people raise their voices to condemn some act of injustice or inhumanity or inequality. Similarly hashtags with the thoughts on twitter are also a type of freedom of speech.

pic 6 Ideas & words spread like fire on social media. Social media and is a creative way to get people to express themselves. In real world, even after having the freedom of speech people sometimes seem a bit restrictive and limited, but on social media they feel a greater sense of freedom of expression and/or of speech. For people who find it difficult to interact with others in person, the social media provides them a great way of communicating and not having to feel self-conscious or nervous.

But I believe that Freedom of Speech on social media is only good if it is use in a legal and right way. In near past, we have found many cases of blasphemy. In result many Pakistani students of Islamic seminaries took part in a rally in support of blasphemy laws, in Islamabad, Pakistan and then two bloggers also disappeared from Islamabad recently. They demanded to impose blasphemy law in Pakistan and to ban all social media forums in Pakistan as well. You can find the detail on Al-Arabiya English. To avoid the wrong use of social media, government of Pakistan has issued a list of cyber crime and their punishments recently. Cyber crime & their punishment.

Conclusion

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This picture is the best example for concluding my blog which defines the idea that you can kill a man but not his words; similarly you can arrest someone physically but not his idea. The idea must be spread forward by someone else as shown in this picture & this would be happening just because of freedom of speech, no matter through which channel you are spreading the idea. It can be further explained by taking the example of martyr of APS Peshawar. People are still spreading their ideology on social media and remember them in their hearts.

So finally at the end we can say that freedom of speech is greatest right or duty but only if it is done in a right way.

“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.” –  John F. Kennedy

Find More: YouCanNotKillAnIdea