Can true freedom of speech have restrictions? | The Tylt

Can true freedom of speech have restrictions?

The Constitution is under constant re-evaluation. Take the first amendment's call for freedom of expression and religion, which states, “Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Many claim some forms of expression should be prohibited in order to avoid potential acts of violence; others maintain true free speech should remain unlimited, as any form of restriction runs the risk of becoming oppressive. Which is it? 

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The dark crevices of the internet have consistently proven that speech can be just as destructive as it is empowering. Platforms such as 8chan are cesspools of radical extremists that have more than once been linked to mass shootings. These public domains are the breeding grounds for destruction via violent means; knocking them off the internet is more a matter of security than an impediment of artful thought. 

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A lot of people invoke the analogy, “you can’t shout fire in a crowded theater” in order to justify restrictions on speech. Essentially, the statement reflects the idea speech should only be limited when its sole intent is to cause chaos via falsities; in other words, when it is both dangerous and a lie. What good can come from allowing for the continued existence of specific sites or publications when the ideas they spread are founded upon hatred or harm?

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The Founding Fathers intended for America’s freedoms to contribute to the betterment of society. If someone spreads a lie, it (obviously) hinders the truth and, thus, progress. As activist Charles Schenck once said, “Do you know that patriotism means a love for your country, and not a hate for others?” 

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One of “freedom's” definitions is “the power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without.” However, look through any of its other meanings and you’ll start to see a pattern: the use of the word “unrestrained” or its synonyms. Doesn't this prove the term “freedom of expression” at its core is a zero-hinderance policy for any demonstrated opinion? 

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Take the most recent the New York Times incident. The newspaper published an article titled, “Trump Urges Unity vs. Racism” to instant outrage. Many saw the headline as inherently harmful and biased, bringing forth a motion for the paper’s cancellation. While it is absolutely their right to openly disagree with the sentiments of any institution, is it not just as much the said institution’s right to express its own opinions in the first place? When does the mission to abolish negative opinions disintegrate into dictatorial mob mentality? 

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People should seek to open the floor to discussion as the primary way of combatting inherently violent ideologies. Otherwise, systematically shutting down one person after another in an attempt to stifle their beliefs runs the risk of being used with malignant intent. Consider if you say something a group of people disagrees with. Now imagine the ability to voice your opinions is suddenly taken away from you, thanks to the demands of other people. Would you still view it as warranted limitation or total oppression? 

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Can true freedom of speech have restrictions?
#SomeLawsFreeSpeech
A festive crown for the winner
#NoLawsFreeSpeech