Freedom of Speech

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the right to freedom of speech. A radio announcer made some hurtful and offensive remarks about the Prime Minister and her family. He’s since apologised, but it’s sparked a debate about whether freedom of speech should have limits. Sarah takes a look at the argument.

Watch the btn video about Freedom of Speech and share your opinion with us!

Should you be allowed to say whatever you like?

Should there be limits?

eg. You can’t say anything that

  • damages someones reputation

  • is racist

  • damages their right to a fair trial?

  • offensive to people with disabilities

  • offensive in general regardless of race, age, gender, look, religion

Should there be consequences for saying things that offend people?

Chairperson: Prakashika

Secretary: Lucia and Tass

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on “Freedom of Speech
23 Comments on “Freedom of Speech
  1. Dear Bloggers

    I think that freedom of speech should have limits to what you can say so you can’t be racist, mean to disabled people and don’t ruin someone reputation. I think that if you do this you should have to pay a find of $5000.

    by Caleb

  2. Dear 5/6VA,
    I think that Australia should not have complete ‘freedom of speech’, since people could make comments that are racist, ruin someone’s reputation or hurt the person’s feeling. It’s also not fair that people can abuse someone about there appearance, background and skin colour. There should also be a consequence for discriminating people and not treating them fair, the consequence that should be done for this offence is a fine.


  3. Dear Bloggers,

    I think that we should have a limit to freedom of speech so that we don’t offend people about their race, age and gender. I think that you should get a fine of about $500 because it is an very bad offence.
    From Evan

  4. Hello Everyone,

    Freedom of Speech is important. Everyone gets the right to say what they want and to say what they believe. But sometimes we go too far and I believe there should be limits to what we say. What we say isn’t always true and this can cause panic over… nothing! There should be limits like you can say what you want if; it doesn’t offend anyone, it must be accurate and true, you must have evidence and you must have reason for saying this. I like the idea of having freedom of speech but sometimes we go too far.


  5. Dear Bloggers,
    I think people should be allowed to say what they want if it has limit because if you can say whatever you want then isn’t that like bullying? If we can say anything we want people can be really offended.

    From Jamie

  6. Dear 4AP,

    Freedom of speech is very important. Because everyone has the right to say stuff about other people, the words people say shouldn’t be able to have inappropriate or offensive things that ruins another persons reputation. Some sentences people say can really hurt or make someone by offending the persons religion or skin colour.

    From Jayce

  7. Dear bloggers,

    I think that every one should not be able to say things that are offensive or racist or even any thing that isn’t appropriate.If you say anything that isn’t nice or racist or ruins someones reputation you should not be killed or put in jail but you should get fined and have a criminal record of what you did. Saying WHATEVER you want WHEREVER and WHENEVER you want would not work so we should all have a limit to what we say.

    From: Taylah

  8. Dear Bloggers,

    I think that freedom of speech should have a limit of what people can and can’t say because sometimes people can take it to far. Some people refer to freedom of speech as having an ability to offend and hurt people’s feelings. No one in Australia has the right to be racist or ruin any one else’s reputation.

    From Perry

  9. Dera 4AP

    My opinion is that freedom of speech is the right thing to do with limits. If someone makes a comment about something and you don’t agree you have the right to make respond.

    From Andrew3

  10. Dear Bloggers,

    My opinion of this local to global topic is that we should have a freedom of speech but there should be some things you shouldn’t say E.g racism and bullying because people will get aft offended and could get a bad reputation. In other countries they don’t have any freedom of speech and if they stand up to there opinion they will be shot or go to jail.

    From Jack1.

  11. Dear 5/6VA

    Freedom of speech is very important.I think we should some times be allowed to say whatever we want ,but most of the times we should keep the things that would hurt someone to yourself.Because it might offend them,hurt their feelings or even rouen their reputation.So if you don’t have anything nice to say I think you really shouldn’t say it at all.

    From Alana

  12. Dear Bloggers,

    I believe freedom of speech should be looked at carefully as some people such as Alan Jones used this and the media to make insults to the previous Prime Minister.Freedom of speech is a privilege to us as Australians can criticise whoever they want and there will be no consequences. Limits should be set for the things said on radio or T.v for anything offensive that is said.

    From Robert.

  13. Dear blogger,
    I think that only sometimes when it is appropriate we can say what ever we like.We can say whatever we want but it shouldn’t be offensive and racist to some else.It also can’t hurt someone else’s feelings. It can also ruin some one else’s reputation.

    From Elli

  14. Dear 5/6 VA,
    I think that everyone should have the right to have freedom of speech but as long as it is not racist,not effecting someone’s reputation and letting everyone a fair trial (current limitations)or basically anything that is offensive in
    general. I do believe there should be a consequence if this law is broken such as a fine.

    From Jessica

  15. Dear Bloggers,

    I believe that there should be a consequence for those who say offensive things to another person because it hurts the person’s feelings and reputation. People sometimes say offensive things to others because they want people to hear what their opinions are and to say what they think about a certain thing or person. People have the right to say or talk about something true about someone because lying about someone is just wrong and very disrespectful!

    The consequences for saying things that offend other people might be a huge fine and apologise to the person they are offending. If people take it too far, it might ruin the person’s life, frighten, anger the person, or even be sent to jail. Offending people because of their nationality, age, race or reputation is very annoying and that should be a law.

    From Cecilia

  16. My opinion is that freedom of speech is the right thing to do when people make a comment about something and if you don’t agree with it you can make a speech about it. Freedom should be the right thing to do because people need fresh air and have a good life out side everyone should boss themselves for the rest of their life.

    I don’t think we should completely be able to say anything we like because we shouldn’t be able to say racist things about people we shouldn’t be able to put people down if there were silly like the same gender we shouldn’t be able to say bad things to people.

    Form ivo

  17. Hi Bloggers,
    I think that freedom of speech should have it’s limits, I don’t think people should be able to say whatever they want to other people. In my opinion I say that there should be a Consequence for people being offensive to others.


  18. Dear Bloggers,

    I think you should be allowed to say whatever you like, BUT there could be some limits to set. I believe that you can’t say anything that is racist, threatening, offensive, even to people with a disability or mental illness, etc. There should be very fair consequences for anyone who takes it too far in stating their opinion. Then again I think there should be limits and freedom of speech would be more fair.

    From, Sandra.

  19. Dear Class,

    I think freedom of speech is perfectly fine as long as it doesn’t offend someone else. No one has the right to hurt another person with their words or with physical pain. That means things like cyber bullying would be worse if we didn’t have the freedom of speech law. It will also make it easier for bullies to say anything they want. The bullies will benefit from this because they’ll claim they have the freedom of speech.

    From Tristan

  20. Dear readers,

    I don’t think we should completely be able to say anything we like because we shouldn’t able to say racist things about people, we shouldn’t be able to put people down if they like the same gender, we shouldn’t be able to just go up to someone and call them stupid and you shouldn’t be able to say things untrue to people that will ruin there reputation.

    From Tass

  21. Hi Bloggers, I have been following your discussion with great interest. Thank you all for sharing your opinions. I do believe in Freedom of Speech but I also believe that each one of us is responsible for respecting other people.

    It seems to me that the words we use to other people are a measure of the kind of person that we are. If a person uses hurtfull words, words that show a lack of respect and words that make fun of other peiople or spread rumours, then they are showing what kind of person they are. Those are people that I would choose to avoid. They are people I would not want to know.

    Unfortunately, sometimes we make mistakes with the words we use.Sometimes the words we use are not meant to be harmful to others, they have just come out wrong or they are understood by the listener in a way we didn’t mean them to understand them. That is why I am a bit reluctant to judge people just by their words, I would try to look at their actions too. If someone’s actions match their words and their words are hurtful and disrespectful, then as a community we need to stand up for everyone’s right to be treated respectfully. We need to have the courage to say, this is not good enough.

    I am not sure that a fine is a useful consequence. Perhaps it would be better to have people who hurt others by words and actions actually do work in the community. That would perhaps help them to see things in a new way. If someone is racist, perhaps they could work with a refugee centre and see the pain these people are going through.

    Ms Christine Ash

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