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  • IPA(key): /fɹiː ˈspiːtʃ/
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free speech (uncountable)

  1. The right to express an opinion in public without being restrained or censored.
    • 2003, Mike Godwin, Cyber Rights, The MIT Press, →ISBN, page 2:
      The term free speech, which appears in this book's subtitle as well as in its text, is used more or less interchangeably with freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression to refer to all of the expressive rights guaranteed by the forty-five words of the First Amendment, as interpreted by the U.S. courts.
  2. Expressions that are or should be allowed in some moral or legal context.
    • 2017, Fernne Brennan, Race Rights Reparations: Institutional Racism and The Law, Routledge, →ISBN:
      I would argue that we must be concerned with free speech but that cyber racism is not free speech, it is racist speech that provides an opportunity to devalue part of humankind ...
    • 2007, Wells Earl Draughon, While America Sleeps: How Islam, Immigration and Indoctrination Are Destroying America from Within, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 116:
      Saying certain things or posting fliers or writing in student or independent newspapers is not free speech but instead is sexual harassment or racial harassment.
    • 1953, United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, Hearings, page 3631:
      Section 8 (c) of the act has been erroneously referred to since its passage as a free-speech provision. Actually this section permits the employer to intimidate and coerce employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed by the act. It is not a question of free speech at all. Giving the antiunion employer an unbridled right to condemn and deride the basic rights of employees to self-organization and collective bargaining is not free speech but a license to defeat the exercise of these fundamental rights.







See also