Themes

What is Freedom of Expression definition/concept

The fact that we can express our ideas and opinions in a context of freedom is known as freedom of expression . It is a right recognized by democratic nations and this right is intended to allow the dissemination of ideas, without restrictions or limitations, with the exception of those provided for by law. In other words, the laws explicitly state that individuals must manifest themselves in the best way. This right is exercised through the means of communication ,political or personal field, but despite this recognition there are certain limits of freedom of expression that should not be exceeded.

The apology of violence and defamation are limits to freedom of expression

A citizen of a democratic country is free to say what he thinks about any subject. If all individuals are equal before the law, it is logical that all opinions must be respected equally. However, if it is interpreted with the criterion that everything is unlimited, this freedom becomes a potential danger.

Certain ideas cannot be freely propagated, as they are assessed as a threat to the freedom of others. Thus, the apology of violence is the main limit to freedom of expression. Another issue that limits it, is defamation. In this sense, if a person disqualifies another in order to harm them, they may be committing a crime of defamation, regardless of whether the information is disclosed as true or false.

Threats to freedom of expression

The propagation of ideas related to violence or defamation are two issues that the law provides as legal limits to freedom of expression. This implies that the rest of the opinions are protected by freedom of expression and cannot be prosecuted by law. Despite this, there are certain real threats that jeopardize authentic freedom of expression:

1) when, on occasion, governments adopt restrictive measures with the objective of guaranteeing national security ;

2) when journalists are under pressure not to disseminate certain information;

3) when the right to protest  is limited by authority.

These three cases serve to remind us that freedom of expression has latent threats, that is, there are a number of interests that try to curb the free expression of ideas.

It must be understood as a basic principle of democracy

In democratic systems, citizens elect their representatives through voting. A man’s opinion reflected in the vote is an essential aspect of the democratic system . Voting allows the sovereignty of a nation to rest with the people. However, the right to vote has no value if it is not accompanied by the right to freedom of expression.

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