Free Speech Debate

Thirteen languages. Ten principles. One conversation.

Log in | Register | Mailing list

Loading...
1We – all human beings – must be free and able to express ourselves, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, regardless of frontiers.»
2We defend the internet and all other forms of communication against illegitimate encroachments by both public and private powers.»
3We require and create open, diverse media so we can make well-informed decisions and participate fully in political life.»
4We speak openly and with civility about all kinds of human difference.»
5We allow no taboos in the discussion and dissemination of knowledge.»
6We neither make threats of violence nor accept violent intimidation.»
7We respect the believer but not necessarily the content of the belief.»
8We are all entitled to a private life but should accept such scrutiny as is in the public interest.»
9We should be able to counter slurs on our reputations without stifling legitimate debate.»
10We must be free to challenge all limits to freedom of expression and information justified on such grounds as national security, public order, morality and the protection of intellectual property.»

What’s missing?

Is there a vital area we have not addressed? A principle 11? An illuminating case study? Read other people's suggestions and add your own here. Or start the debate in your own language.


Have your say!
Help us work on the principles below
so they work for you.
1We – all human beings – must be free and able to express ourselves, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, regardless of frontiers.»
2We defend the internet and all other forms of communication against illegitimate encroachments by both public and private powers.»
3We require and create open, diverse media so we can make well-informed decisions and participate fully in political life.»
4We speak openly and with civility about all kinds of human difference.»
5We allow no taboos in the discussion and dissemination of knowledge.»
6We neither make threats of violence nor accept violent intimidation.»
7We respect the believer but not necessarily the content of the belief.»
8We are all entitled to a private life but should accept such scrutiny as is in the public interest.»
9We should be able to counter slurs on our reputations without stifling legitimate debate.»
10We must be free to challenge all limits to freedom of expression and information justified on such grounds as national security, public order, morality and the protection of intellectual property.»

What’s missing?

Is there a vital area we have not addressed? A principle 11? An illuminating case study? Read other people's suggestions and add your own here. Or start the debate in your own language.


Readers' comments

David Cameron

Britain’s proposed online porn filters

How do we strike the right balance between freedom of expression and child protection? Sarah Glatte explores a proposal by the British government.

David Cameron

Britain’s proposed online porn filters

How do we strike the right balance between freedom of expression and child protection? Sarah Glatte explores a proposal by the British government.

David Cameron

Britain’s proposed online porn filters

How do we strike the right balance between freedom of expression and child protection? Sarah Glatte explores a proposal by the British government.

David Cameron

Britain’s proposed online porn filters

How do we strike the right balance between freedom of expression and child protection? Sarah Glatte explores a proposal by the British government.

David Cameron

Britain’s proposed online porn filters

How do we strike the right balance between freedom of expression and child protection? Sarah Glatte explores a proposal by the British government.

Highlights

Privacy: Sample our intellectual buffet. Or make your own meal.

Timothy Garton Ash introduces a sample tour of the content on our site

Your comments highlighted

We regularly highlight comments from our users. In the last six months we have had quite a few insightful comments, contributing to our online debate.

Freedom to offend?

At the London School of Economics Students's Union Freshers' Fair members of the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Student Society were asked to cover up their T-shirts displaying a Jesus and Mo cartoon. This panel discussion discusses the freedom to offend and how to balance freedom of expression and civility.

US Supreme Court strikes down law creating ‘buffer zone’ around abortion clinics

In the case of McCullen v Coakley, the US Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling about restrictions on speech around abortion clinics. Max Harris explains.

Getting Google to forget you is harder than it seems

Sebastian Huempfer describes the difficulties in having outdated information removed from Google, and explains why this might be a good thing.

Should Europe introduce a ‘right to blaspheme’?

Alain Bouldoires talks to Timothy Garton Ash about the survival of blasphemy laws in Europe, and calls for a 'right to blaspheme'.

Vote for Hong Kong – on the streets and online

In 2014, the citizens of Hong Kong staged an unofficial civil referendum in protest against the Beijing authorities’ attempts to undermine its independence. As Rebecca Wong reports, the majority of the votes were cast via a voting app on mobile phones.

Imported Repression in the Middle East

A leaked document in June 2014 from Egypt’s ministry of the interior invited tenders for cyber-surveillance technology to combat blasphemy, sarcasm and ‘lack of morality’ - the technology would likely come from the west. Max Gallien reports.

A landmark Canadian hate speech case: Her Majesty the Queen v Keegstra

In 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a famous ruling in a case involving a high school teacher and alleged anti-Semitism. Max Harris explains.

“That Jew died for you”

The group Jews for Jesus published a video entitled “That Jew died for you“, depicting Jesus as a victim of the Holocaust. Rabbi Laura Janner –Klausner called for the offensive video to be removed from YouTube. Brian Pellot discusses the free speech implications.

Should ISPs be told to block “adult” content?

Internet Service Providers do not merely route data packets from end-to-end, but are heavily involved in monitoring their customers’ online activities. Ian Brown discusses the implications of Britain's suggested “voluntary” opting out of “adult content”, with little parliamentary and court involvement.

Profanity, purity and politics — the battle for the Russian language

A law banning swear words in the arts in Russia has come into effect in July 2014. Maryam Omidi discusses the implications.


Free Speech Debate is a research project of the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom at St Antony's College in the University of Oxford. www.freespeechdebate.ox.ac.uk