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Freedom of Speech in America

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Freedom of Speech in America

Postby Think Different » August 12th, 2010, 6:16 pm

Just trying to start a discussion here, not trying to make a political or social statement.....

Often one hears how there is no true freedom of speech in the US. Is that really true, or an exaggeration? I would like to think that Americans have more freedom of speech than in Cuba, North Korea, or Iran, but those are extreme examples. What about Europe, Asia, South America?

In your opinion, how does the US freedom of speech stack up against other nations? Can you provide concrete examples?
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Postby WakingUp » August 13th, 2010, 9:57 pm

I can't compare it to other nations, but I can definitely say free speech is going DOWN in America.

Take a look at this, for instance. You can pelt Bush and Clinton at a carnival...but not Obama!

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-481323?hpt=T2

I cannot believe that the US has gotten so sensitive. I can't wait to graduate and get the hell out.
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Re: Freedom of Speech in America

Postby globetrotter » August 13th, 2010, 10:24 pm

RedDog wrote:Just trying to start a discussion here, not trying to make a political or social statement.....

Often one hears how there is no true freedom of speech in the US. Is that really true, or an exaggeration? I would like to think that Americans have more freedom of speech than in Cuba, North Korea, or Iran, but those are extreme examples. What about Europe, Asia, South America?

In your opinion, how does the US freedom of speech stack up against other nations? Can you provide concrete examples?


Well, you wrote that from the USA, this forum is hosted in the USA and the other posters are mostly living in the USA and all of us say whatever we want here.
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Postby momopi » August 13th, 2010, 10:56 pm

The effective freedom of speech in America is uneven. There's greater protection for the written word, than other media formats. i.e. FCC sets the rules on broadcast media, and will fine you for obscene material.

FCC's position on obscene material is that, obscene speech is not protected by the First Amendment and cannot be broadcast at any time. To be obscene, material must meet the 3 tests:

1. An average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material, as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest.

2. The material must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law.
3. The material, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.


The written word, however, is protected to the other extreme. Books that are illegal in Europe would be fine here.
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