Unabridged free speech is enshrined in the constitution but this also implies an absolute freedom which means that you are theoretically free to slander and libel or lie, threaten, insult, name call, put down, ridicule, use profanities, and humiliate at will. Free speech can be abused if it is excessive aggression without limits and results in uncivilized discourse not worthy of moral or ethical human behavior.
One could argue that the only kind of immoral or unethical free speech is intentional slandering and libeling or lying about someone or something. Threats on the life of someone could also be considered to be immoral or unethical. With insults, name calling, put downs, ridicule, profanity, and humiliation you could argue that this is not really immoral or unethical but only bad behavior.
However, this bad behavior can just as easily destroy someone’s good public reputation. If you destroy or try to verbally destroy someone’s good public reputation then you may effectively be killing that human financially and socially so this public bad behavior can become a serious threat on a human lifestyle for many.
I personally do not practice the above bad behaviors. If you call these behaviors immoral or unethical free speech then comedy dies if ridicule is censored. Forbidding jovial friendly assaults without malice on one’s personality or behavior with insults, name calling, put downs, profanity, and humiliation would make life rather boring and mundane if it was labeled unethical, immoral, or a definite no no. Censure all bad speech and life becomes an unbearable strait jacket since no one is or ever will be morally or ethically perfect. Many humans do make many unintentional communication mistakes which can do more than just offend and are sometimes forgivable, especially if an apology is forthcoming.
I suppose that in private you should be able to say what you pretty damn well please but our private lives are now becoming public in a flash with social media and the internet which used to be and still is to some extent like the wild wild west. The still problematic unanswered question is- if you publish on the internet then are you still a private individual or do you automatically become a public figure?
Add to this the frightening possibility of deepfakes which are doctored videos that show humans saying and doing things which they never did or said. What has become glaringly obvious is that some censorship of public free speech is necessary or it will destroy civilized discourse. More importantly, who is responsible for censoring irresponsible free speech?
A human or organization should almost always be responsible for immoral or unethical free speech and it is them that should bear the legal responsibility for publishing their shit. On Facebook you can unfriend an offensive human source but you can’t unfriend an offensive organization publication so we have a serious situation.
Who will censor an offensive ad or article? If you are offended by the ad or article then maybe there are many others who are not offended at all. So it seems that you personally should have the right to censor what you don’t want to see from the internet. Problematically Facebook, Google, etc. should not be the sole censor or they take on the position of a publisher who is responsible for any damage to your reputation in the event of slander, libel, or a threat to your life from some Facebook, Google, etc. source.
The sad reality is that if you are the victim of slander, libel, or a threat on your life then your only recourse is to sue and good lawyers cost an arm and a leg. Suing one individual may be rather easy but often not financially rewarding. Try suing a large corporation with big bucks like Facebook or Google and you are at a severe legal disadvantage. Yes, justice for the financially limited individual is very improbable and the legal system is just not equipped to successfully deal with this unjust reality.
If you become a public figure where apparently anything goes then your good reputation can be unjustly destroyed almost overnight by the media. This is probably the main reason why there are so few brave public individuals who are not timid and overtly stand their ground and mouth their truths, especially if their opinions are not deemed to be politically correct.
Criminals and scammers prowl the internet so search engines have a responsibility to protect your data submitted via the internet from unauthorized use. Complications galore exist and some kind of censorship is definitely necessary. What should remain private information and what should become public information is an ongoing dilemma which may never be solved to the satisfaction of many.
Nowhere is the rampage of unbridled free speech more noticeable than in politics where it has taken on a form of entertainment for entertainment’s sake. The descent of the media into a tabloid press interested in shocking sound bites and the manufacture of fake news or overly biased reporting is slowly destroying civil public discourse and truthful reporting.
The media, politicians, and celebrities resorting to insults, name calling, put downs, ridicule, occasional profanity, and humiliation is a descent into school yard taunting, verbal assaults, and uncontrolled childishness. This approach makes rational discourse impossible, especially when one power hungry side is only interested in political correctness. It is a tragic tyranny when one dominant left wing ideology views everyone else with divergent views as the evil enemy who deserves destruction with verbal attacks and ostracism.
What this society badly needs is champions of moral or ethical free speech but the badly educated new generation seems to be poorly equipped ethically to know the difference between truthful discourse and irresponsible reckless free speech. The need for moral or ethical free speech is becoming apparent to many but fake morality and fake righteousness or dogmatic ideological censorship as a replacement is definitely not the answer.
Those interested in modern moral or ethical principles for society in copious detail should read my free book on Amazon entitled SECULAR MORAL CODE.
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