A tricky topic this month.  “Freedom of speech is the concept of the inherent human right to voice one’s opinion publicly without fear of censorship or punishment.” However the news links below show how complex a subject this is.  So what do your students think?

Some questions to start the conversation:

  • Do you think Facebook and other social media platforms should police the content of what is posted?
  • Who should have the power to decide what is acceptable under freedom of speech and what is unacceptable?
  • Do you have any examples of where Freedom of Speech was either abused or prevented?

And a few of the stories in the news this week:

Jail for a joke: free speech under spotlight in Spain
44 years ago the Spanish Prime Minster was sadly killed by a car bomb.  44 years late a 21 year old student joked about this in tweets and was jailed for 1 year for glorifying terrorism and humiliating victims.

Facebook – does content have a right to express itself?
For example, graphic violence against animals can be ignored if it is a photograph, but not if it is a video. If it is a video, it will be marked as disturbing. If the photo counts as animal mutilation, it too can be marked as disturbing, but not deleted

Is student speech being stifled?
Lincoln’s Conservative Society was suspended for sharing an image from a study that suggested Lincoln University ranked as “very intolerant” on freedom of speech