(Because Free Speech is a Monologue)

The terms 'Free Speech' and 'Freedom of Expression' have been corrupted and perverted to enable 'Expressions of Harm', 'Freedom from responsibility' and 'Freedom from Accountability'.

The World has witnessed groups, public and political figures missue such freedoms, as absolution from libel, slander, obscenity and perjury. To misrepresent 'freedoms' as being absolute, denegrates those whose freedoms are destitute.

Free Speech has become a 'free for all' - creating positive feedback loops with negative outcomes. 

The IOWL Campaign and Centre for Free Dialogue is co-located between our Northern Ireland and South African Hubs. Its focus is to help all understand the need to move towards 'Free Dialogue' - because Free Speech has become a Monologue.

With the IOWL Positive Value Leadership framework as its foundation, we demonstrate how 'Free Dialogue' is priceless, while 'Free Speech' comes at great cost.


The meaning of freedom...

'Freedom of speech' is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. The term freedom of expression is usually used synonymously but, in legal sense, includes any activity of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.

The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the UDHR states that "everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice". The version of Article 19 in the ICCPR later amends this by stating that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "for respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "for the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals".

Freedom of speech and expression, therefore, may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations or boundaries to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, food labeling, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, dignity, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury. Justifications for such include the harm principle, proposed by John Stuart Mill in On Liberty, which suggests that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."

The idea of the "offense principle" is also used in the justification of speech limitations, describing the restriction on forms of expression deemed offensive to society, considering factors such as extent, duration, motives of the speaker, and ease with which it could be avoided

Join Now  FAQs