Essay on Freedom Of Speech : A Common Misconception Of Freedom

779 Words Mar 31st, 2016 4 Pages
Freedom of speech was one of the first major principles written in the constitution. A common misconception of freedom of speech is that it has no limitations, however, when this speech breeds hatred, questions rise about bans and restrictions. When harm becomes involved, the issue of hate speech is often debated. The harm principle is the only purpose for with it is morally legitimate for government or public opinion to interfere with anyone’s liberty of action (including speech) is to prevent harm to others. Hate speech can lead to direct harm; it is important to restrict it. Although freedom of speech is important to the way our society is run, limitations need to be set. Without this, repeated hate speech directed towards a targeted group will cause harm. Often times we are influenced by other people’s words and actions. Because hate speech causes negative stereotypes and is linked to violence, it could be considered a direct cause of harm. Besides violence and physical damages, targeted group’s mental health is also affected emotionally and psychologically. Being repeatedly harassed by hate speech causes the targeted group to fear that the hate speech can escalate to violence. Self esteem is an emotional harm that is associated with hate speech. A low self esteem is developed because members of the victim group feel rejected by society. Hate speech including of racism, sexism, always has influence over the victim group. This is because, the individual’s…

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