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.

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Funders and partners

Free Speech Debate is a project of the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom at St Antony’s College in the University of Oxford. It has received intellectual, institutional and technical support from many parts of the university. The content of the site will be digitally archived by the Bodleian Library.

Core funding for the Dahrendorf Programme, and its annual Dahrendorf Lecture and Colloquium, has been provided by the Aurea Foundation and the Zeit Stiftung.

Special funding for the Free Speech Debate project has been provided by the Fritt Ord FoundationOpen Society Foundations and Google. We are most grateful to all these funders. Our agreements with them ensure the full academic independence of the project. For the avoidance of any doubt in places where such suspicions are sometimes aired: we neither receive any money from governments nor have been influenced by them in any way.

External partnerships we have developed in the course of this project include collaborations with WordPress (on which the site is built), the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia UK, CoveritLiveopenDemocracyGlobal Voices, Guardian Comment Network, Eurozine and IDEA.

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Published on: February 7, 2012 | No Comments

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.