Why is freedom of speech important?

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In many countries, freedom of speech is closely tied with the idea of democracy. This is because for democracies to function properly, there needs to be constant checks from the populace.

In a country with a high level of freedom of speech, citizens are free to critique the government and other powers within their country amongst their friends, to the media, or even to the powers that be.

This freedom of speech does not just help the scrutinizing of the government, but it also helps moderate companies, people, and ideas. For example, if you found out that a certain toy contained a dangerous substance, you would be free to sound the alarm and tell everyone that the toy was dangerous, thus helping others stay safe.

However, with freedom of speech comes the ability to say just about anything you want, true or false. This means citizens need to be wary of false reports or as some call them “fake news.”

 

Nations Where Freedom of Speech is Highly Supported (according to a study by the Pew Research Center)

  • U.S.
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • Mexico
  • Venezuela

 

Nations Where Freedom of Speech is Not Highly Supported

  • Senegal
  • Jordan
  • Pakistan
  • Ukraine
  • Burkina Faso

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