By Bunni Smith
Free speech is important because it provides you with much more than just the liberty to speak your mind; it provides you with all your liberties, to an extent.
What can and cannot be said on a public platform is controlled by the government. Some governments have more control than others; the United States is very free in terms of what you can say on TV, in literature, and on the internet. The moment a government decides to censor an opinion that does not align with their own, freedom of the opposition is not only jeopardized, but the freedom of the rest of society is as well. Let’s say that this government bans violence in all forms of media on the grounds it encourages violent behavior? The government defines what “violence” can be defined as. Perhaps the law includes pictures of organs as being “graphic and violent” in nature. Using this loophole, non-violent media sources such as nature documentaries and medical films could be banned.
This is an extreme example, but this is why people need the ability to speak and debate in a public forum; if you agree that it would be wrong to be punished under a censorship law for making a documentary about animals, then you should be a supporter of free speech.