Free Speech Debate

Thirteen languages. Ten principles. One conversation.

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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

Cochabamba street art: gagged and blindfolded

The rise of the left and the fall of free speech in Latin America

Maryhen Jiménez Morales explores how leftist political leaders in Latin America have limited free speech in their countries through populist discourse and political propaganda.

Cochabamba street art: gagged and blindfolded

The rise of the left and the fall of free speech in Latin America

Maryhen Jiménez Morales explores how leftist political leaders in Latin America have limited free speech in their countries through populist discourse and political propaganda.

Rae Langton on pornography and rape myths thumbnail

Rae Langton on pornography and rape myths

Philosophy Professor Rae Langton discusses her views on the cultural harm of pornography. This is an excerpt from the full interview with Rae Langton with Free Speech Debate.

Same-sex marriage supporter Panti Bliss reacts at Dublin Castle in Dublin

The battle for balance on Ireland’s airwaves

Declan Johnston explores whether regulatory requirements for Ireland's broadcasters worked well in its referendum on same-sex marriage.

Highlights

Is the Inter-American Court of Human Rights setting regional standards?

Laura Bernal-Bermudez examines a judgement that actually led to a change in the Chilean constitution

US landmark ruling on net neutrality

Dana Polatin-Reuben examines the fiercely contested 2015 FCC rules and their free speech implications.

Rae Langton on philosophy, free speech and pornography

In this interview for Free Speech Debate, renowned Philosophy Professor Rae Langton speaks about the value of philosophy for our understanding of free speech and discusses aspects of her work on pornography and the silencing of women.

The battle for balance on Ireland’s airwaves

Declan Johnston explores whether regulatory requirements for Ireland's broadcasters worked well in its referendum on same-sex marriage.

Whose finger should be on the trigger?

Sarah Glatte explores the controversy over trigger warnings and asks whether they help or hinder free speech.

The cultural harm of rape pornography

Erika Rackley and Clare McGlynn consider the evidence for this ‘cultural harm’ and argue that education is the best way to counter it.

Charlie Hebdo cartoons: to republish or not to republish?

Sarah Glatte explores the question which divided the world’s media.

Has France been hypocritical about free speech?

In the shadow of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations, Arthur Asseraf examines the history of French colonial double standards in Algeria

Giles Fraser on free speech and religion

Giles Fraser, commentator and Anglican priest, talks with Declan Johnston about the relationship between free speech and religion, and the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

Can a book be too dangerous for the public?

Sebastian Huempfer examines the tortured controversy around republication of a copyright-free Mein Kampf in Germany.

Law restricting online speech struck down in India

Max Harris examines a historic judgment by India’s Supreme Court and its lessons for other countries.

Italy and the law on denialism

Luigi Cajani explains how Italy’s draft law on the denial of international crimes minimises the impact on intellectual freedom.


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