Fun Easy English Classroom January 17


Learn about
freedom of speech
Freedom of Speech

Today in the Fun Easy English classroom you are going to read about Freedom of Speech. This is an interesting topic and hopefully you will take the survey at the end of the lesson and post your thoughts in the comment section.
Hey if you cannot understand something on this page,
then use the Fun Easy English dictionary (opens in a new window)
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Martin Luther King Jr BirthdayVocabulary: Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity, sedition (including, for example inciting ethnic hatred), copyright violation, revelation of information that is classified or otherwise.

Source: Wikipedia: Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech in the United States

Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by many state constitutions and state and federal laws. The freedom is not absolute; the Supreme Court of the United States has recognized several categories of speech that are excluded from the freedom of speech, and it has recognized that governments may enact reasonable time, place, or manner restrictions on speech.

Criticism of the government and advocacy of unpopular ideas that people may find distasteful or against public policy are almost always permitted. There are exceptions to these general protections, including the Miller test for obscenity, child pornography laws, speech that incites imminent lawless action, and regulation of commercial speech such as advertising. Within these limited areas, other limitations on free speech balance rights to free speech and other rights, such as rights for authors and inventors over their works and discoveries (copyright and patent), protection from imminent or potential violence against particular persons (restrictions on fighting words), or the use of untruths to harm others (slander). Distinctions are often made between speech and other acts which may have symbolic significance.

Despite the exceptions, the legal protections of the First Amendment are some of the broadest of any industrialized nation, and remain a critical, and occasionally controversial, component of American jurisprudence.

Source: Wikipedia: Freedom of Speech in the United States

Freedom of Speech in Other Countries

In many nations, particularly those with relatively authoritarian forms of government, overt government censorship is enforced. Censorship has also been claimed to occur in other forms and there are different approaches to issues such as hate speech, obscenity, and defamation laws even in countries seen as liberal democracies.

Source: Wikipedia: Freedom of Speech by Country
From YOUR Teacher: Freedom of Speech

This is one of the most controversial topics in the world today. Different countries impose different restrictions on freedom of speech. The United States of America has the most liberal policies relating to freedom of speech but is it too liberal? Answer the survey below and then post a comment.
Survey: Do you agree with American citizens total freedom of speech?

Many people believe in America freedom of speech is too liberal.
Decide if freedom of speech is too liberal on the survey below
and post a comment at the bottom of this page.
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