Does freedom of expression have limits?
Freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, freedom of the press and offence are closely correlated terms.
Freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, freedom of the press and offense are closely correlated terms. Surely it is the most extensive debate that has been analyzed again and again throughout the history of humanity, from Ancient Greece to our modern times, where the dilemma remains on the table.
Often a social group, a person or a legal entity denounces or is denounced for having expressed an opinion on a subject that concerns the affected parties. In this sense, the offense is the resulting one in the limit of the freedom of expression and, consequently, it is very difficult to measure this lack objectively.
How is freedom of expression defined?
As we have pointed out in the introduction to the article, freedom of expression is a controversial issue to be analyzed, and so is its definition. However, we will approach the most academic interpretation possible.
Freedom of expression represents a civil or human right that all people, regardless of their religious, ethnic or physical condition, have the legitimate power to write, say and narrate whatever their opinion or thought. In this way, people are protected before the law to avoid pressures, instigations and / or prior censorship.
The origins of the debate
This concept has its origins in the mid-twentieth century, after the end of the Second World War, and was introduced in the Universal Charter of Human Rights of the year 1948, drafted by the United Nations (1945) and included in all the constitutions of the current Democratic States.
Freedom of expression is also enshrined in the freedom of the press , which is the great disadvantage of being the universal medium where citizens are informed and called to inform.
However, freedom of expression is a claim so old since human beings were organized in societies where the priorities and concerns of these groups were discussed in a collective forum.
Limits and controversy with the freedom of expression
Freedom of expression ends when the recipient is upset or harmed, according to communication experts. But how to determine the offense or grievance of those affected? This is where the paradox of the term freedom resides.
On the other hand, the limits to freedom of expression are established by those who have the powers of diffusion, influence or prestige channels such as multinational companies, governments and newspapers. According to a study revealed by Republican, censorship is usually on the side of economic elites and legitimate governments.
In this sense, we can say that freedom of expression is more a tool than a last right, since depending on some interests or others, a guideline or another will be applied as it happens in portals such as Facebook or Twitter.
We live in a super communicated world in a global way, where information is practically instantaneous; the retransmissions are made live in voice and image. But still, there are still cases of censorship or a filter is passed before revealing the news.
In Spain, for example, political representatives have had to rectify, apologize or even resign, for having verbalized a thought that has offended the recipient, or their environment. In many cases even, the law has been applied retroactively.
The controversy, the order of the day
Remember Guillermo Zapata, councilor in the City of Madrid, was tried and sentenced for making jokes with victims of the Holocaust or with the physical disability of Irene Villa, all of them prior to his stage as a political figure. He had to rectify and was denied, due to public pressure, the position of Culture Councilor in the Madrid City Council.
Consequently, to determine the limits to freedom of expression, a measure has been proposed that analyzes the intention and the weight that the message may have. Therefore, it is considered that a message, thought or narration that incites hatred or violence is a reason to cut back that freedom that has been given to us.
According to a legit source called Pay Someone To Do My Assignment, to understand it better, we will illustrate this idea through a specific case. It is not the same to say "we must kill and eliminate all radical without contemplations" that, "we must eliminate all differences". The term 'radical' is what makes the difference in this example since it attacks a specific group and not a whole community.