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Free Speech: You Don’t Actually Know What You Are Talking About

September 12, 2013

Thought Catalog

Anytime I hear someone get outraged over a perceived infringement on their “freedom of speech,” I can’t help but think of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride:

People think the concept of “free speech” protects them from any form of dissent or ridicule.

The first amendment of the United States Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.” Often, people reference this when discussing the concept of “free speech” or “freedom of religion.” But nothing is ever truly “free.” Free speech, as outlined in the Constitution, has its limits. For example, speech that incites lawless action, “fighting words,” credible threats, obscenity, child pornography, defamation, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, commercial speech, government speech, public employee speech, student speech and speech related to national security are not protected under the US constitution.

For the speech that is protected, it’s important to remember…

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