Weekly News Highlights: 9/26/2022 – 10/2/2022
Free Speech Is the Most Fundamental American Value
This opinions article, written by Judge Laurence H. Silberman, argues for the protection of free speech amidst a time when free speech is often being suppressed whether it is on social media, inviting controversial guest speakers to visit universities, or college professors who advocate for an unpopular opinion. The freedom of speech is guaranteed by the First Amendment, created by James Madison who initially aimed to secure the freedom of the press. However, it shortly followed that the freedom of speech is necessary for the freedom of the press, and thus the right to free speech — "even the most provocative and unpleasant" — is now a right that is guaranteed to all Americans. The article discusses why suppressing free speech, which has often been done on college campuses, can potentially be dangerous.
I find this article interesting because free speech has vast implications on society and brings up important questions to consider. The right to free speech allows hate speech, which is often dangerous to those who it attacks. Is it truly justifiable to protect hate speech? Additionally, with the extreme usage of social media to spread messages across the world, should social media companies have the right to regulate speech on their platform, such as banning figures like Andrew Tate? On one hand, these figures should not be suppressed for expressing their opinions, but on another hand, they have a large amount of influence and can radicalize individuals, especially younger people. How do these companies draw the line between free speech and misinformation? As we navigate these questions, one imperative aspect is that we keep an open mind. As I have seen in my history classes where we have discussed controversial topics, I believe that everyone's perspectives are shaped by their upbringing, background, family, and what they read, and for the most part, people's opinions should not immediately be dismissed or rejected without hearing their full story and reason.