Based on the Miriam Dictionary, freedom of speech is defined as “the right to express facts and opinions subject only to reasonable limitations (as the power of the government to protect itself from a clear and present danger)guaranteed by the first and fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution and similar provision of some state constitution.” Another definition of freedom of speech is it is a “Right” as stated in 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, to express information, ideas, and opinions free of government restrictions based on content. In addition, it is also known as the political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas using one’s body and property who is willing to receive them. This phrase is commonly used and we normally hear this everyday but the term freedom of speech is sometimes used synonymously. It includes any act of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
The practice to freedom of speech or also known as the freedom of expression is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with label, slander, obscenity, sedition (for example inciting ethnic hatred), copyright violation, revelation of information that is classified otherwise. Many people are practicing this kind of rights and some of them don’t really understand what it is and its limitations. Like for example if you see those people who rallies in the streets because they are fighting for something or correcting something. It’s their right to express what they feel and their opinions but sometimes they go beyond the boundary that most of the time leads to chaos instead of peace. That’s why before you practice your freedom of speech you first need to understand its definition and limitations. Remember that the right to freedom of speech is still under the law. It is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and it is also recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
In Article 19 of ICCPR it states that everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference and everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression. But it’s also stated 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 reputations of others as well, or for the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals.