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The Ten Free Speech Debate Principles Cheat Sheet by

principles     free     speech     debate

Introd­uction

The principles themselves are ‘draft’ principles so they are still to be discussed, you can do this on their site as there are comments enabled on the pages that tell you about each principle. However it probably makes sense for you to head over to Free Speech Debate’s site to do this as they already have comments on each principle and you can vote on whether you agree with the principle. Also on their site you can suggest an 11th principle or challenge the whole idea.

One might consider whether their principles are truly all compatible can we be “free and able to express ourselves, and to seek, receive and impart inform­ation and ideas, regardless of frontiers” (principle 1) and “allow no taboos in the discussion and dissem­ination of knowledge” (principle 5) while at the same time arguing “We are all entitled to a private life” (principle 8) and “We should be able to counter slurs on our reputa­tions without stifling legitimate debate” (principle 9). Preventing slurs on reputa­tions or allowing any kind of private life would seem to be placing some limit on the other princi­ples. It might be argued that principles 8 and 9 turn what might have been a project for radical free speech into pretty much the common sense approach, would the site have been better off taking the more radical approach?

10 Draft Principles

1. We - all human beings - must be free and able to express ourselves, and to seek, receive and impart inform­ation and ideas, regardless of frontiers.
2. We defend the internet and all other forms of commun­ication against illegi­timate encroa­chments by both public and private powers.
3. We require and create open, diverse media so we can make well-i­nformed decisions and partic­ipate fully in political life.
4. We speak openly and with civility about all kinds of human differ­ence.
5. We allow no taboos in the discussion and dissem­ination of knowledge.
6. We neither make threats of violence nor accept violent intimi­dation.
7. We respect the believer but not necess­arily the content of the belief.
8. We are all entitled to a private life but should accept such scrutiny as is in the public interest.
9. We should be able to counter slurs on our reputa­tions without stifling legitimate debate.
10. We must be free to challenge all limits to freedom of expression and inform­ation justified on such grounds as national security, public order, morality and the protection of intell­ectual property.
 

Principles

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