Freedom of speech is synonymous with freedom of expression. These two terms do not only explain the ability to speak or voice opinions without limitation or interference, but also the use of other means in communicating or impacting information.
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This includes the use of expressions, music and art like painting, photography, and performing. In many countries, this freedom is provided for in as a basic freedom. Under the Universal Declaration of human rights in the United Nations there is a provision for this freedom. There are many genuine reasons why free speech is an important freedom.
Expressing oneself is a basic and important aspect of life and is also part of the basis for communication; it is more instinctive than learned. Throughout childhood and life, freedom of speech supports the learning of an individual through the acquisition of new views, ideas, concepts and theories in scientific, social and other fields of education.
One is able to participate in healthy debates and discussions, learn how to win and persuade in arguments and tolerate or even accept other people’s perceptions and ways of thinking. When an individual is able to express their ideas and opinions, it enables them to relate with others, participate in and enjoy interaction and bonding with other members of a group, team and community.
The main importance of speech learning and development is to facilitate expression and help an individual to live in harmony with other people in society, making sure that there needs are met and their rights, values and principles are not violated. Limiting or interfering with the freedom to speak and express oneself is a big violation of the basic rights of an individual and it restrains an individual from living a normal, productive and independent life.
Freedom of speech is an important aspect of social life in a civilized and democratic society. It enables people to make decisions on their rulers, systems of development and administration and initiate debates and discussions on important issues that concern public policy and governance.
People can voice their concerns over any problems or issues on accountability, responsibility and transparency of leadership. Freedom of speech is essential in the maintaining of law and order and making sure that there are checks and balances on individuals or groups which violate the law.
Although there has been debate on the justification of freedom of speech, it is important to realize that society cannot develop or advance when imparting of and access to information is impeded. In some instances privacy, control and protection of information is required but this does not mean that information should be completely barred from the public.
Freedom of expression is also important where social and cultural issues are concerned. When people are at liberty to express their opinions on critical issues concerning social values, norms and standards, social harmony and order is achieved.
In order to facilitate effective change which is inevitable, sensitive Issues concerning social life, like abortion, aesthesia, divorce, parenting, marriage etc. should be open to debate whether there is consensus or not. It is obviously clear that not all forms and means of freedom of expression that supported and defended but in order to prevent social tension and chaos people should be free to speak.
There are many reasons why free speech is an important freedom. Most societies agree that there should be clearly set guarantees on protecting and defending of this freedom without very little limitation except when it is very necessary and there has been general consensus on taking action against disbursement of information.