PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Pensieve
 
Comments: 24
Article views: 798
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Pensieve's badges.
 

Freedom of Speech - a responsibility not a right

05 April 2014, 13:06

Freedom of Speech is a much debated topic and one of the cornerstones of a good democracy. South Africa is one of a few countries where this right enjoyed and appreciated. I do think, however, that in as much as one can obtain a car licence, it does not give you the freedom the drive recklessly, yet the phenomenon is clearly visible when looking at Freedom of Speech.

Seemingly South Africans, if considering the political campaigning and comments on social media sites as a measure, seem to equate Freedom of Speech as a licence to insult and make sweeping statements. Hence my argument that Freedom of Speech is a responsibility, and not a right. Rights are based on the responsible use of the framework which it is intended to provide. Freedom of Speech as a framework should therefore be considered in light of the following responsibilities:

·         * The responsibility to address each other with respect;

·         * The responsibility to be factual;

·         * The responsibility to address the issue and not to attack the person;

·        *  The responsibility to listen especially where opinions differ;

·         * The responsibility to think objectively;

·         * The responsibility to not assume especially where assumptions are based on prejudices;

·         * The responsibility to debate and use public platforms correctly and effectively.

I am sure one can expand on this list.

Actions speak louder than words, and behaviour is rather the guiding factor in which to judge. Again reflecting on the comments (between parties about parties, social media sites, etc.) our actions don’t seem to embrace a common goal to create a better South Africa – Freedom of Speech is not to be used as a weapon against each other (in terms of cultural, race, nationality, educational and other differences), but should be used as a tool to create a common understanding and for healthy debate. In addition Freedom of Speech should also be used to give credit where credit is due – I just want to see that one of the political parties actually laud another party for the things they actually do right!

What a wonderful democracy it would be if we stop working against each other, but start working together!

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
24 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Politbiero
Life and death is in the power of...

I believe this is a quote from Proverbs. But no, this is not an opinion on religion. Read more...

0 comments 210 views
Submitted by
KevinKing
Submitted by
Menzi Lukhele
Going to Indonesia

Jacob Zuma’s planning to depart to Indonesia can safely be assumed had been in place at the time that the so called ‘xenophobia’ or ‘common criminality’ in the country started. Read more...

0 comments 222 views
Submitted by
Shaun James
Young / Unemployed? Here is some ...

I believe entrepreneurship and innovation is probably the only way we are going to get out of this rut we find ourselves in as South Africans. Read more...

0 comments 448 views
Submitted by
Thulane Che Trosky637
The Eskom situation

Eskom is 100% State owned, and at this point in time the State in respect of its building and many official residences. Read more...

6 comments 1681 views
Submitted by
Mq Moyo
Why Some Prayers are Not Answered

Often we are in a state of confusion about praying. We pray constantly for something to happen, or to be given or relieved of something but the answers don’t seem forthcoming. Read more...

56 comments 510 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.