The legal regulation of historical discourse poses significant risks. But there are two, exceptional cases in which memory laws protect free speech, argue Grażyna Baranowska and Anna Wójcik.
Free Speech Debate
Self-censorship is even more harmful than censorship by the state, argues British writer and philosopher Roger Scruton, for it shuts down conversation completely. The damage done to public discussion of the most pressing issues of the day can be seen on both sides of the Atlantic.
Claiming free speech as a “Republican”, “French” or “western” value by conjuring a mythical pantheon of canonical Enlightenment figures will not help us build more inclusive societies. So says Arthur Asseraf, in reconsidering France’s track record as a beacon of press freedom.
Even the mainstreams of democratic societies are vulnerable to destructive and dangerous sentiments in the midst of crisis, writes Jonathan Leader Maynard. But with radicalising calls to extremism at the forefront of public debate, what impact might speech have on violent behaviour?
Given its global impact on the free speech rights of citizens versus those of corporations, the regulation of the Internet cannot be left to chance, writes Dana Polatin-Reuben. Hence the importance of recent efforts by the US Federal Communications Commission to effect net neutrality.