Freedom of speech has become one of the most widely debated subjects of our century; the main reason for this is both the risks it carries and the unimaginable flexibility of its borders. The constant shifts of the borders varies from country to country since there isn’t a global “Freedom of speech law” we can refer to or that every country anticipates. The ECHR is a recent example of how we try to create freedom of speech on a global scale but fail to make every country accept it, in this case Israel and other Middle Eastern Countries. If we take a deeper look into one of the ECHR cases we see the Erdoğan versus Tuşalp example to be prominent in the freedom of speech debate where Tuşalp takes on the Turkish government regarding his limitations on his freedom of speech and wins the case. As we can see this is an effective method of attempting to make the borders of freedom of speech more static and less flexible yet it is still open to discussion in many ways, from the invasion of personal life and career like in the Tuşalp case to the preservation of government.
We can also observe this conflict even escalating to the most free environment available to mankind today, the internet , according to research done by technewsworld “the massive release of sensitive documents released online by WikiLeaks and the subsequent DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks by pro- and anti-WikiLeaks factions on each others’ websites, a fact long-known to only a few cognoscenti became public — free speech online is very much endangered”. So event the most advanced forms of freedom can be limited by their very own existence just like the most powerful minds in the world can be manipulated into becoming the biggest sources of control in the world.
Yet in the late 20th century and the early 21st century we see that there has been a miraculous uprising in the forms of media and along with it the concept of freedom of speech, this is due to the fall of iron cast communism and the widespread existence of economical growth with free trade, according to the CIMA “1991, hundreds of millions of dollars in media development aid has flowed into former communist countries.” Therefore we can speculate that the growth in freedom of speech will start to decelerate after a certain period of time due to the fact that investments and the necessity of it has become a more theoretical concept rather than a practical one.
What about the people who come up with the numbers? Are they also puppets on the end of these shifting strings or are they truly researching in a decent manner for a righteous cause? Mark Nelson states “Everybody knows that these numbers are not perfect and not without error … but they are really important and useful.” So the numbers may not be one-hundred percent reliable yet they are vital for basic evaluation.
In my opinion the possible solution to this debate is to part with vain attempts to control freedom of speech because we as individuals have a mind of our own and it is our duty to evaluate what we think is right and wrong. If there are conflicting beliefs it is our duty to question and speak for ourselves and it is not one’s right to attempt to silence another. Yet this does not mean that comments aren’t open to criticism it just means that there never is a “perfect” truth there is only us and our understanding. “I cannot teach anybody anything I can only make them think” – Socrates.