Principles of Free Speech Debate
This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.
Free Speech Debate is a multilingual platform for the discussion of free expression in the age of the internet and mass migration. It is based at the University of Oxford. Ten draft principles for global free speech are offered, together with explanations, case studies and interviews - all up for debate. Individual users from across the world take part in the online discussion. You can propose new case studies and suggest revised or entirely new principles. Free Speech Debate is dedicated to expanding this vital discussion beyond the west and global north, into the east and south. The website is actively moderated by, and the original content generated by, an international team at Oxford University, working under the leadership of historian and journalist Timothy Garton Ash.
10 Principles of Free Speech Debate
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.