Free Speech Debate

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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.»

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Home | Discussions | What does “reputation” mean?

What does “reputation” mean?

The definition of "reputation" is hard to pin down and has varied from age to age and place to place. Let us know your understanding of the word here.

Katie Price & Peter Andre win a libel case against the News of the World in 2008 (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Katie Price & Peter Andre win a libel case against the News of the World in 2008 (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

The definition of “reputation” is hard to pin down and has varied from age to age and place to place. Is it your public image, what companies call their brand? Is it as Article 17 implies – closer to the old idea of honour? Or is it about the intrinsic, inalienable, equal dignity of each and every human being? What does “reputation” mean in your country?

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Published on: January 30, 2012 | 3 Comments

Comments (3)

Automated machine translations are provided by Google Translate. They should give you a rough idea of what the contributor has said, but cannot be relied on to give an accurate, nuanced translation. Please read them with this in mind.

  1. jheawood says:

    Reputation is what other people think about you. It’s inherently uncontrollable. You can have a ‘bad’ reputation in one era or society for something that is ‘good’ in another – a ‘fallen’ woman one day becomes a ‘liberated’ woman the next. English libel law treats anything that could damage your reputation as libellous – even if it might be true. A good libel law would focus on inaccuracy: is this story true or not? And does it cause serious and substantial harm? Claimants should have to show that a story is both false AND harmful before launching any action.

  2. BunnyDemi says:

    Reputation is more plitical in China, which is based on someone’ s contributions.
    Because collectivism from China’ s traditional culture is the golden rule in this society.
    Most people there already built collectivism in their mind and they believe that ‘get honor for their country’ is more important than pride themselves.
    For instance, on 2010 winter Olympic women’s 1,500 meters short-track speed race, Chinese gold winner Zhou Yang was criticized by the State Sports General Administration deputy director Yu Zaiqing ‘ …should thank the country first. Must put the country first, don’t just thank your parents and that’s it.’

    However, just like Zhou Yang, nowadays many young people in China become more and more liberalistic in fact. We no longer think the country would be more important than ourselves or our family, especially we find that we usually are treated by the Gov. (in China, country equal to government) The youth nowadays prefer reputation is all about one pesonal honor makes them feel about success. But they seem like from one extreme to another. On the surface, they fighting for the country, while in private they seem to lack of social conscience.

    BTW, what a pity that this web closed by the China gov’s GWF after I introduce it to my friends.
    SIGH…there is never a free speech debate in China ‘s public area, even in our classroom.

  3. mnas says:

    i think the meaning of reputation differs from country to country , from one economic status to the other and from one person’s perspective and understanding of the word to the other. A person’s reputation in a huge organization is calculated by how high up the hierarchy he/she is whereas reputation of the organization itself is perceived by how old the company is, the profits etc. Reputation in my country is measured by wealth and good connections. Instead of an increase in respect with a higher reputation, the interaction of the individuals becomes more complex and political which I believe is unavoidable. Taking an example of a person continuously working hard to achieve recognition and higher reputation in his job, his behavior and his interaction with his colleagues will become more political due to his instinct to protect his position that he had earned over the years. This is what I myself has observed in my own work environment.

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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.