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The Abuse of Freedom of Speech

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Published: Mon, 04 Sep 2017

Freedom of Speech, one of America’s downfalls. One of the biggest misconceptions now a days is that many of today’s generation has exercised their freedom of speech inappropriately. They have cruelly misused and abused it by using it as an excuse to be discriminative, unpleasant, and barbarous.”42% of teenagers with tech access report being cyber bullied over the past year”, this is because technology has created a generation that have gained the wrong kind of confidence from behind a computer or cell phone screen. Social media outlets and many other sources have become a crutch for allowing this corruption of what we call one our “Constitutional Rights”. Yes America has the right to express its freedom, but does that mean we have to cruel and malicious when we become upset?

When it come to expressing opinions, people now have no problem with doing so. Whether that be over a cellphone, computer, through mail, or in person, America never fails to get it their point across. This comes with many downfalls, these methods may be effective, but sometimes people can get caught in the crossfire. For example in 2007, Katherine Evans a senior at Pembroke Pines Charter High School exerted her freedom of speech. Evans disliked one particular teacher that she decided to create a facebook page trashing her. Yes, Evans did create the page off campus, and it didn’t involve any threatening or vulgar words, but it isn’t ethically right. Did this teacher really deserve this hurtful defamation? Also many websites are aiding and protecting these freedom of Speech abusers in certain cases, with their terms of use and policies leaving various ways to hurt people.

The faster, easier, and cheaper it becomes to communicate and connect with people, the more effortlessly we will abuse our freedom of speech and expression. For instance spreading vile rumors that could ruin someone’s reputation can now be done within a matter off seconds. 2.8% of students report that they have had harmful information spread about them. This kind of quick-fire approach to spilling our opinions has created a culture of criticism.” Today seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another” That’s a large portion of America taking part in a society that’s rapped up in judging others and crossing boundaries of our constitutional rights. Social media sites have received lash back for allowing users to post offensive post about other people onto their sites. Also social media is now creating more ways to attack people, ANONYMOUSLY! More and more apps are being created to use anonymously. This only encourages the abuse of freedom of speech. To top it all off, it’s all public and there for everyone to see. Freedom of speech is scaling heights everyday with disregard of the consequences of misusing it.

Posting pictures without someone’s permission has gotten out of control. Some are not meant maliciously, but there’s some that can destroy opportunities for a person. This is a result of one of many ways we misuse our right to freedom of speech. We have engulfed ourselves into our virtual lives that we forget there are consequences to our actions, when we post something about someone. Once it’s uploaded, it’s now forever in the World Wide Web. There are many instances of teenagers that have posted pictures of others and that other person has suffered severe repercussions because of it. Our perceptions of right and wrong have been swayed because too many people abuse the right to express their opinions, by attacking innocent people, and those undeserving of others criticism. There are many consequences to misusing freedom of speech, such as people who have committed suicide, or attempted suicide. Every year 864,950 people attempt suicide. This mean one person tries to commit suicide every thirty-eight seconds because people have the liberty to express their opinion whether that be good or bad. Of the 69% of teens that own technology, 80% are active on social media. This is a large portion of our youth and future leaders.

Celebrities, politicians, authors, normal everyday people, are exposed to cruel and perverted individuals who believe that they can say whatever they want. Various mainstream issues such as racism, feminism, and equal pay are being fueled by people who are ignorant to culture, because they feel the need to express what they believe despite being politically incorrect. Yes Freedom of speech gives us the right to verbally express how we feel, but not to degrade, humiliate, curse, and abuse people. Four-in-ten Millennials say the government should be able to prevent people from publicly making statements that are offensive to minority groups. Many people may disagree with government censoring, but consider all the suicides, attempted suicides, riots, that all could be avoided. The integrity of America’s freedom of speech has been compromised.

Freedom of speech has been misused, abused, and thrown around, like trash. For the sake of America’s youth and future generations there needs to be change. America cannot continue to allow such verbal attacks to ensue on undeserving people or on social media. Society should start respecting freedom of speech. People think before speaking or typing, show empathy, see past what you disagree. Make a change in the nation for the better.


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