What is freedom of expression?

We explain to you what freedom of expression is and how this human right originated. In addition, its limits and freedom of expression on the Internet.

  1. What is freedom of expression?

Freedom of expression is that right that every human being must enjoy, freely express their opinions , be able to publish or communicate them and that, in turn, the rest of the people respect them.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that this right must be guaranteed as it is essential for any human being to be able to perform and develop properly. The constitutions of each democratic country also include this human right, also known as the fundamental right.

It is said that freedom of expression is an elementary means for the dissemination of ideas and for the discovery of any truth . There is no doubt that this human right is necessary so that people can take knowledge of the surrounding environment and the world in general, since they will be able to exchange ideas and learn through free communication with others. We could say then that freedom of expression is the ability to formulate ideas and, at the same time, to make them known.

Regarding a political aspect, if the citizens of a given country feel that their rights to free communication are respected, the State will gain the trust and respect of its inhabitants. In turn, if a government meets these characteristics, it will create in people a feeling in which its politicians are honest and capable of being in the corresponding positions. In this way, citizens will be able to have a critical and argued opinion when deciding who to vote in the elections.

The constant confrontation of the media against the rulers or opposition politicians collaborates when it comes to publicizing any corruption or irregularity that occurs in the country. In turn, thanks to the media , a connection is achieved between citizens and their rulers in which they can express any complaint, concern or also, thanks to the authorities.

Finally, one of the great reasons why it is important to enjoy this human right is that thanks to it, and it is that it allows to denounce the breach or the need of any other right of the people that is not being fulfilled or that is not respected.

  1. What is the origin of freedom of expression?

Freedom of expression
Voltaire argued that a world full of free men would make significant progress.

Although the right to freedom of expression was defined as such in the year 1948 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this concept is discussed since the Enlightenment years Philosophers such as Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu argued that a world full of free men would result in significant progress in both the arts and sciences , and clearly, in politics .

As much as in the French Revolution and in the War of the Independence of the United States , these ideals were the main arguments that the revolutionaries used and that had repercussion in the majority of the remaining western countries.

  1. Limits of freedom of expression

In general, freedom of expression will be limited when a given situation conflicts with other people’s rights or values . That is, any act that is related to violence, crime or any other case that could cause damage to the other will not be considered as freedom of expression . If the limits of this right are broken, the person will suffer from a legal sanction or even from disapproval or social rejection.

After World War I , topics such as security , respect , and some minimum rights that should correspond to the soldiers of the   war began to be dealt with in the Geneva Conventions . It will be only in 1948, after the end of World War II in 1945, it was decided to discuss the rights of man in the General Assembly of the United Nations and in this way, realize a set of rules and principles that would serve as guarantee against the different public authorities.

  1. Freedom of expression on the Internet

Freedom of expression
The limits of this right are set in the internationally set standards.

In 2011, it was declared in the Organization of American States that freedom of expression will be applied on the Internet in the same way that it is applied in any field or context.

The limits of this right will be established in the internationally set standards. They must be provided by laws and must contain a legitimate purpose that is recognized by the so-called international law.

However, the regulations made for other media such as radio or television cannot be taken into consideration , but the case of the Internet must be analyzed in order to design and establish specific conditions for this recent and powerful means of communication. communication.

In any case, each website or Internet company has its own regulations to expedite the process and make the work of addressing or eliminating injurious expressions or behaviors more effective.

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