London (May 11th 2021) Speech has dominated the headlines over the past year. Cancel-culture has almost completely extinguished debate in universities on hot topics like race and religion; police have clamped down on people protesting about a variety of issues; and the tech giants have all thrown their weight behind the deletion of unpopular opinions. At the helm of all these issues has been the divisive nature of speech in the twenty-first century and the tenacious top-down attempts to subdue it.
Still, even in situations of offence and controversy, an individual’s right to “free expression” should be upheld as a principle of democratic values and human rights law. A famous writer once said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
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