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What is your definition of freedom of expression?

by Happy Mom (follow)
Politics (39)      Ideas (2)      Thought (1)     
A debate which is very close to my heart, I would like to know what a community of avid and fluent writers such as yourselves think of the concept of "freedom of expression" and what should be some of the clauses to be kept in mind? The "expression" could be in form of speech, writing, art, video documentary, theater, or other.

freedom of expression, right, responsibility

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To me, freedom of expression means being able to convey my feelings and thoughts in an open forum without any restraint, fear or hesitation. Unfortunately, Australia does not have a Bill of Rights clearly stipulating our freedom of speech.
It's a tricky one. On one hand I believe that freedom of expression is crucial in any progressive society, as without the potential to express thoughts, feelings and opinions freely without fear of ridicule or punishment we're living in fear and repression. However, unfortunately there are some seriously deviant people who could use such freedom for dangerous and unhealthy reasons. Therefore, although the concept of absolute freedom of expression is ideal, it could be misused unless individuals are guided by personal integrity or some kind of value system. Keeping other people's feelings in mind is also important...not that we use our 'freedom' to hurt or belittle others, even if we think they're absolutely obnoxious!
The right to free speech? In a civilised nation such as Australia, this is a possibility. In some other nations, its citizens can be locked up.
I have issues with this - intellectually, I believe in the right to free speech but when a how to make a bomb site gets taken off the internet, then I think 'good!' so I guess while I intellectually think it should be a right, I emotionally think if you're spouting hate, then it shouldn't be tolerated.
Some people use the "right to free speech" to spread hatred, defamation or incite passions of certain religious or other groups. Do you all think that it is correct to do so in the name of free speech?
I would like to tell you all about something I have just come across that is to me true Freedom of Expression.

the tagline:

"It's not happening here but it's happening now".

Using the transparent billboards.

The campaign aims to show people what is going on in the world, even if it's not happening in front of them at the bus stop. The ads portray issues in countries like Iraq, China, and Sudan.

I believe this is true freedom of expression.

Being able to say what you like, when and where you like.
by Finy
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