Read & Discuss
Jeff Howard explains what it means for a state to be a party to the ICCPR and how individuals can issue complaints about violations of free speech to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Manav Bhushan and Casey Selwyn question whether it was right for Tom Cruise to threaten to sue US show South Park over an episode that depicted Scientology in a pejorative manner and blatantly hinted that he was gay.
US blogger Joe Gordon was sentenced to two and a half years in a Thai prison for publishing links on his blog to an unauthorised biography of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej. A case study by Maryam Omidi.
Exceptional individuals have risked and sometimes given their lives for free expression. Name them here.
In December 2011, the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity asked the journals Science and Nature to redact details of a study about an easily transmitted form of the H5N1 virus for fear it could be misused by bioterrorists. Maryam Omidi considers whether the censorship request was valid.
The Occupy Wall Street movement adopted “the human microphone” in response to its lack of a permit for the use of amplified sound on public property in New York City. The human microphone embodies the pluralistic nature of the movement itself and serves to enhance its message, writes Casey Selwyn.
Our first principle says, “We – all human beings – must be free and able to express ourselves, and to receive and impart information and ideas, regardless of frontiers.” What do you think?
Citizen journalism has transformed the media landscape. Suggest examples of good citizen journalism here.
Israeli whistleblower Anat Kamm leaked 2,000 classified military documents obtained during her service with the Israeli Defence Force. Maryam Omidi discusses the claims of national security versus public interest.
Our international team of Oxford University graduate students has translated almost all of our editorial and specially commissioned content – a demanding task given the cultural and semantic differences across languages. You can find out more about the difficulties they faced in our Lost in translation? blog posts. This week, Maryam Omidi takes a look at “civility”.
All known human cultures have had some notion of privacy, but what is seen as private has varied enormously with time and place.
Was it right to make Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the IMF, do the “perp walk” after he was charged with sexually assaulting a hotel maid in New York? Clementine de Montjoye argues no.
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.
Professor Eric Barendt of University College London discusses the delicate balance between free speech and privacy.
In November 2011, South Africa’s lower house approved the protection of state information bill – legislation, which if passed can sentence those found guilty to up to 25 years’ imprisonment, writes Maryam Omidi.
With a readership of over 300 million, Han Han is one of China’s most influential online personalities. Judith Bruhn looks at his blog as an example of an individual citizen creating more open and diverse media in difficult circumstances.
The Indian authorities’ decision to ban Savita Bhabhi, an online comic strip featuring a promiscuous housewife with an insatiable appetite for sex, was met with a criticism from the press. Maryam Omidi weighs up whether it was the right decision.
Since its creation in 1987, Artist Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ, a plastic crucifix in a jar of urine, has divided opinion. In April 2011, the artwork was irreparably damaged by vandals at the Collection Lambert art museum. Katie Engelhart considers whether it was right for the museum to have exhibited the work.
Being free to express yourself also means being able to use your language. What happens when you can’t? Let us know of interesting cases here.
Watch and listen to atheist philosopher A C Grayling, journalist and practising Christian Charles Moore, and Usama Hasan, a scientist and imam, discuss free speech and religion.
Wikipedia, the sixth most visited site in the world, closed down its English-language pages in January 2012 in protest against two anti-piracy bills in the US. But should the online encyclopedia engage in activism?
Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, came under public scrutiny when it emerged that he had allegedly had an affair at a time when the bank was heading for collapse. Maryam Omidi asks whether there was a genuine public interest in details of the alleged affair being revealed.