Freedom of expression is engrained in our society as well as protected by law and human rights. Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone is entitled to hold and express their views freely without interference from others or the government. Some people believe that having freedom of expression is a tool that enables them to justify hate, but inciting negativity against other groups or people is not what this should be used for. Instead, we need to embrace diversity and difference by communicating different experiences through our freedom of expression and using it to create greater cohesion and dialogue despite differences we may have.
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Why Is Freedom of Expression So Important?
Allowing everybody the choice and ability to express themselves freely without oppression or difficulty is fundamental to having a democratic and free society. Without freedom for everyone, none of us is truly free. The ability to express we allow for more outstanding communication and dialogue or views that might otherwise be marginalised creates openness when it is most needed and encourages thought-provoking ideas to be discussed in broader society. We must engage with different people, so accepting varying viewpoints is imperative to opening our minds and expanding to cultures and ideas foreign to our own.
Freedom of expression is vital for journalists and people working in the media who may need to express views contrary to the government or a mighty organisation. The space to highlight what is wrong is essential to putting things right and working towards solutions collectively. This is another reason why protecting freedom of expression is necessary for all of us.
What Happens Without Freedom of Expression?
When we do not have the collective right to express our opinions and criticise flaws in society, we are trapped in a state where we have no power or say in the direction it takes. Narrow-mindedness breeds hate and polarising viewpoints that isolate us and cause us to believe that there are wrong or right in a very unhealthy black and white way. To remain open-minded and involved in dialogues that expose us to new viewpoints and opinions, we need freedom of expression to protect our rights.