Limitations Of Freedom Of Speech Essay

1227 Words 5 Pages
Limits of Free Speech What are the boundaries of free speech and what exactly is considered “taking it too far?” In an article by Robbie Brown titled, “140 Characters Spell Charges and Jail,” Brown talks about a twenty-six year old Alabama man named Jarvis Britton who reportedly sent out threats as “jokes” via the social networking site, Twitter, to President Barack Obama. Secret Service questioned Jarvis about the posts but he was let off with a warning when he admitted to being intoxicated. Months later Jarvis sent out more threats against President Obama and was taken into custody, receiving a year in prison. I, personally, do not sympathize for Mr. Britton. He should have taken the initial warning given by the Secret Service and been …show more content…
Freedom of speech can be considered as being able to say what you want without any limitations; well it doesn’t exactly seem that way. The Supreme Court gave freedom of speech three types of definitions including, pure speech, speech-plus, and symbolic speech. On ushistory.org, a website specifically for American history and government, states the definition for each type of free speech. Pure speech is, “the verbal expression of thoughts and opinions before a voluntary audience.” Speech-plus, “involves actions, such as demonstrating or protesting, as well as words.” The last one is symbolic speech, which is technically, “no speech at all, but it involves symbols that the courts have judged to be forms of free expression.” Today, people are getting in trouble for not just what they say, but for what they post online. It seems that freedom of speech also refers to what you post on social networking …show more content…
There are boundaries to what can be said and what is considered taking it a step to far. The government is cracking down on Internet remarks that threaten someone’s life and that raise concern with others. Social network users often post threats, racist remarks, foolish, and not very smart things on their personal pages. These people see them as “jokes” while others take them serious. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook make it easy for users to post things they don’t really mean or for laughs, when it reality, that post about you threating the President of the United States could cost you some jail time. A person should know their limits of to post and not post. A person writing lyrics about killing others or “joke” threats aren’t necessarily seen as nothing, especially when others don’t know you are posting lyrics. As an avid social media user who posts some raunchy things from time to time, I know my limits and don’t cross the line of what is considered an offense because though we do have the right to speak freely, there is a line to be drawn on what can be

Related Documents