Free Essay about Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech is perhaps the most important right that we have in the United States. Since the constitution passed the First Amendment, freedom of speech gives everyone in the country the right to express their opinions as they see fit. However, according to New 2002 “State of the First Amendment” survey suggests many Americans see freedoms as obstacles in war on terror, “for the fist time in the annual State of the First Amendment survey, almost half (49%) of those surveyed said the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees a 10 percentage-point jump from 2001” (freedoms obstacles in war from survey). It shows more and more Americans believe that freedom of speech is too vast and needs to have regulations put on it.

I am glad that more and more people realize that freedom of speech has a limit! One of the obvious shortages of too much freedom of speech is the bad influence on public. Sometimes when media ballyhoo some crime, it affects public opinion and even influences suspects who probably tired of and convicted media before they even go to trail. “Richard Jewell, the security guard who was thought of the suspect in the Atlanta bombing, is a good example of this. Before the police found any evidence against him, some newsmen already called him the bomber (he sued, and won)” (John A. Dowell). It’s unfair for suspect because it causes bad impression on public and press pressure on judgments. If suspects are famous, media will spend more time reporting it and may cause more problems.

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President Clinton’s sexual misconduct was another good example of this. We could see reports on TV everyday and newspaper put it as headline news. Although it brought a lot of profit to media, and in the name of freedom of speech, they could express what they want, it influenced public’s opinion a lot. According to public opinion polls, most people think he is guilty of sexual misconduct (John A. Dowell). Because of media’s ballyhoo, it deviates original meaning and spends too much time, money and attention on it and even worse it extends stab his reputation that represents United States.

These above are some typically events that too much freedom of speech has a bad effect on people. However, too much freedom also can effect people gradually. Hate speech is a hot issue against freedom of expression. According to Lia Rene Figueira, she sometimes catches herself dancing around with her friends to Eminem’s songs, and she loves the beat of “The Real Slim Shady”. But the content of the song is about the proceeds to kill his wife very graphically. “Hearing the actual sounds of someone’s throat being slashed” makes her the chills (Eminem’s message is hatred). Many people will argue that Eminem has total freedom of speech and people have ability to judge things. How could you know that not only teenagers and adult but also young children listen to his music? How could you know the deep influence on people with so much vulgarity to a point that everyone in America hears it? Some people may say he is just a little bit too vulgar at times, but as a famous star, many people buy his records and follow him. After hours and hours of listening to his songs, they really begin to have an effect on people although he does’t want to trash people on purpose. Therefore, I believe at this point freedom of speech goes too far.

Nowadays Internet becomes an important medium for free expression. Anyone can express their views by publishing material on line and everyday millions of people look through it. Hate groups, such as Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis are in favor of using website to spread their opinion and recruit youth because it’s safe, inexpensive and can reach people all over the world. Hate groups are using graphics, music, games and friendly language to attract and influence children. Since children spend a lot of time on-line, hate groups think the Internet as the best way to recruit youth. As a result hate crimes became a serious issue because “every hour, someone commits a hate crime”;”everyday, at least eight blacks, three whites, three gays, three Jews and one Latino become hate crime victims”(10 ways to fight hate). However, cyberspace regulations against hate sites can’t be passed because they infringe on the First Amendment and freedom of speech. Therefore, too much freedom is not good for people and sometimes it brings people in danger.

I don’t mind how media attract readers, but I do care whether they breach fact and confuse the people’s minds. I don’t mind if someone puts up his/her site saying how being gay is wrong, but I do care someone puts up a site to recruit youth to hate and kill. I believe our freedom of speech has already gone too far and it’s time for us to re-write the Constitution or limit “freedom” which people can have safer and deserve their right.

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