Freedom of speech is the most protected basic human right that Americans have. “The First Amendment reads, ‘Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.’ Even so, not all types of speech are protected. Obscenity, for example is unprotected; offensive speech, by contrast, is protected; and hate speech may or may not be protected.” (Ivers, 2013). This says nothing about virtual freedom of speech vs freedom of speech. The definition of speech is the ability to express thoughts and feelings, this can be done whether it is online or in person. Ivers also states “as society has changed, so has the meaning of the First Amendment.” (Ivers, 2013). But because the Constitution was written so long ago, it obviously says nothing about the internet or virtual freedoms. The government has stepped in and regulated a lot of the content that businesses and corporations can put out there, (hence all the warning labels you get when you go to a blocked site). But the hard part is deciding when a citizen is crossing that threshold as to what they can and can’t say online. Because the First Amendment is vague in that aspect, it needs to be treated the same as if someone is saying that in person. The language and content on the internet should not be prohibited or restricted anymore than what is allowed to be said every day by individuals talking. I think to properly answer this week’s discussion post question as to whether or not virtual freedom of speech and freedom of speech are the same, I believe they are. Each case is going to be handled differently from one another but freedom of speech cases should be handled the same, whether it’s online, in person, over the phone or through a video chat.
Ivers, G. (2013). Constitutional law: An introduction. [Electronic version] Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
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