Doesn't freedom of speech mean that there are no consequences?

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  1. profile image0
    LoliHeyposted 7 years ago

    Doesn't freedom of speech mean that there are no consequences?

    Lately we hear about people losing their jobs for stuff they tweet and post.  People say, "Well, freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences."  I beg to differ, though.  You're supposed to be able to say what you want.  Now, granted, yelling, "Fire!" in a movie theatre and other Boy-Cried-Wolf things are not acceptable.  But I am tired of people losing their jobs!  The more appropriate approach would be to have their accounts suspended for violating the site's terms of use.

  2. AshutoshJoshi06 profile image83
    AshutoshJoshi06posted 7 years ago

    'Freedom of Speech' is not absolute and never will be. The t&c attached always serves a tool for both use and misuse depending upon situation or case by case basis.

  3. lisavollrath profile image88
    lisavollrathposted 7 years ago

    You've sort of answered your own question, by accepting the idea that yelling "Fire!" in a movie theater should have consequences. And as a society, we accept that if someone says something about someone else that is false, they may be sued for libel. Speech does have consequences.

    What freedom of speech does mean is that we cannot censor someone else's speech, simply because we disagree or don't like it. They are free to say it, without censorship from the government.

    Now, let's think about this from an employer's perspective. My employees are free to say whatever they like on social media---and I am free to hire and fire employees as I wish. If my employee says my business sucks, why should I continue to employ them? If they want to say the business sucks, they're free to do so, but should I, as their employer, continue to have an employee who says it sucks in a public forum on my payroll?

    Speech has consequences. If you're going to say something, you should be prepared for the effect your words have in the world. Perhaps more thought before speaking might save people the unintended result their words might have.

    1. friendlywebguy profile image65
      friendlywebguyposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      This is a great way to put it.
      What do you think makes bad words bad? … d-word-bad

    2. The Indexer profile image83
      The Indexerposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Are you really "free to hire and fire employees as you wish"? You need to be careful about claims for unfair dismissal if you apply that dictum too strictly! You can sack someone for what they do, but for what they say?

    3. lisavollrath profile image88
      lisavollrathposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Bad-mouthing a company, or one of its employees, on social media has become an acceptable reason for firing. There wouldn't be any grounds for unfair dismissal.

    4. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      @John Welford - Things are different in the U.S. Employers don't have to give a reason for firing in "at will employment" states. There's no consequence to firing anyone for any reason in such states.

    5. alaamiahclean profile image60
      alaamiahcleanposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Really informative answer post.
      Really looking forward to read more.
      Really Great. Lisa Vollrath

    6. skellie profile image74
      skellieposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I would have to agree with this comment. Speech does have consequences but there is also the concept of freedom of choice, so for those who choose freedom of speech, there is also bound to be the freedom to respond to that with a choice.

    7. profile image0
      LoliHeyposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      What about if you're at a party and you say something, someone is recording and you don't know it.  Then they put it on the internet and it goes viral and you lose your job?  That crap should be illegal.  You didn't authorize it.

  4. PhoenixV profile image67
    PhoenixVposted 7 years ago

    Back in the old days movie houses were tinder boxes and packed with people. Smoking cigars and no sprinkler systems. Yelling fire would cause a panic and get people hurt. Unless of course there was a fire and I guess it would be a civic duty to yell fire. It was never intended to be used as a blanket example to abridge free speech. Abridgement of free speech in any shape or manner is for dictators and wannabe little dictators that have low self esteem in real life

    1. PhoenixV profile image67
      PhoenixVposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Lets legislate body language or a tone. My employees rolled their eyes at me and had a tone that didnt suit me so I canned them.

    2. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Can do if "employee rolled their eyes @ me & had a tone that didn't suit me" as long as "canning" doesn't violate Federal statutes!

      "At will" states in action!

    3. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      So, PhoenixV,  you don't want religious employers to be able to fire an employee for being gay, transgender, or promiscuous if they find out from the employees' free speech online, right? You are asking for abridgment of employers' religious freedom.

  5. Aime F profile image71
    Aime Fposted 7 years ago

    No, of course not.

    Your words will always have consequences.  You are free to say them, but you must take responsibility for them.

    I wouldn't expect my employers to keep me employed if I publicly made a racist comment because I work with people and it's an unacceptable way to speak about people.  Pretty simple.

    You do things every day that you must do in order to keep your job.  You show up on time, you focus on your work, you treat people with respect.  Choosing your words wisely in a public forum should be another one of those things.

    Being employed is a privilege and it is up to your employer how much they're willing to slide when it comes to your behaviour.

    1. junkseller profile image79
      junksellerposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      When I first looked, your answer was hidden due to negative feedback which seems ironic in a question about freedom of speech, but I guess we are now living in bizarro world.

    2. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I Jn 2:20 We (Believers) "...have an unction from the Holy One, and know all things" (in the spirit)!

      "Birds of a feather flock together" (Psalms 119:63)!
      Yes, "we are now living in bizarro world" (Is 5:20)!

    3. Aime F profile image71
      Aime Fposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      There have been four comments here hidden due to negative feedback (though looks like they've all been brought back up for now), don't know if someone's trying to make a point or what, but it's a little silly.

    4. profile image53
      princemahajanposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed what have said bcaz i am an employee in the medical company namedMedical Tourism in India  and here most of the time i have to shut my mouth even if i haven't done anything and most of the i had argue.

    5. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      If anyone works for someone else they have to represent that someone or "think, talk, act" like that someone!  Find out what they like & do!  It's the same as working for Jesus!  However, we have choice in both! 
      Become"self employed" (as MISFIT

  6. Oztinato profile image76
    Oztinatoposted 7 years ago

    There are laws in place to deal with libel, slander and defamation. No one is above the law.

    1. PhoenixV profile image67
      PhoenixVposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      What about people using free speech to be professional agitators. Promoting sedition or anarchy against the establishment.  Their free expression involves disorderly conduct or damage to property?

    2. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      They get "paid" well; for them it's OK but they have to go home & deal w/guilty conscience for against GOD'S LAWS!
      Prov6:16-19(v18)"feet that b swift in running 2 mischief"(v19)"sowing discord among brothers!"
      "No rest" as abortionist & same

    3. PhoenixV profile image67
      PhoenixVposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      There once was a man, long ago, such as this, censored on a cross.

    4. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Yes "man" censored & killed the CREATOR continuing to prove "FOOLS!" 
      But when they came into the "realization" of what they had done, they said "Men & brothers what shall we do" (Acts2:37) "pricked in their hearts" (aka "guilty conscience")

    5. PhoenixV profile image67
      PhoenixVposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Yes Norine. Always a flaw of censorship. Its all about who gets to call the shots.

    6. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this


      Ultimate "choice of who gets to call shot" has been decided for this world is "temporary" & wrong choice will suffer "consequences" & "guilty conscience" now but "eternal damnation" in world to come!
      I'm praying!

    7. Misfit Chick profile image76
      Misfit Chickposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Really? THIS comment was tagged as negative feedback on this question? That really does say a lot about how distorted & confused people are. Be grateful for peace-loving liberals RIGHTFULLY protesting instead of the guns GOP-ers threatened us wit

    8. wrenchBiscuit profile image69
      wrenchBiscuitposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I am the Rain King, and I am sexy as well, and so I will rain on your parade. The government is above the law. Rick Snyder has yet to be indicted for poisoning the entire city of Flint Michigan. If a Muslim freedom fighter had done the same?

    9. profile image0
      LoliHeyposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Muslim Freedom Fighter?  Please.  You mean terrorists.

    10. Aime F profile image71
      Aime Fposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I believe you just proved his point.

    11. gregas profile image80
      gregasposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Misfit, it is the PEACE LOVING LIBERALS that are causing all of the rioting, not peaceful protests.

  7. profile image0
    Cissy1946posted 7 years ago

    Freedom of speech just means that the government doesn't have the right to arrest you and throw you in jail for expressing your opinions but there are always consequences for what you say, just not legal ones. Every business I've ever worked with has had an employee handbook that had what they deemed acceptable and not acceptable. When you accept a position with the company, you accept their terms and conditions. The same holds true with the Internet sites that you join. They all have a long list of terms and conditions that you must 'accept' in order to join and the consequences for a violation are spelled out in the same document. If what you have to say is so important to you that you are willing to violate the terms you've agreed to then you can't start screaming foul when the consequences are enforced.

    1. gregas profile image80
      gregasposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      There are legal ones too. That's where slander comes in. But, people should use common sense when talking and consider other people and their feelings.

    2. profile image0
      Cissy1946posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I understand about slander. I assumed the question concerned vocalizations that, while inappropriate or against company guidelines, were not slanderous.

    3. Longuer profile image60
      Longuerposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with you in principle but it's not that cut and dried. Freedom of speech does not mean abolishing consequence but it can turn the spotlight on who dictates the direction and policy behind said consequences and to whom they apply.

  8. tamarawilhite profile image86
    tamarawilhiteposted 7 years ago

    Freedom of speech means the right to stand on the street corner or post online what you choose. Others have the right to unfriend you or argue with you.
    Liberal "safe spaces" and political correctness that deny others their right to freedom of speech, belief and association are a violation of the rights of others. In the name of safety and other good branding terms, authoritarian liberals have assaulted conservatives, interrupted conservative speakers with air horns or blows, and threatened to kill those who dissent. Their right to speech does NOT include a hecker's veto. A veto to shut down events upon threats of violence is fascism and should be stopped by full enforcement of the law.

    1. PhoenixV profile image67
      PhoenixVposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      The penalty for chiseling away at the right of free speech should be a parachute and kicked out at 10000 feet above North Korea.

    2. Misfit Chick profile image76
      Misfit Chickposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Stop blaming libs 4 EVERYTHING, jeez! Speech is MEANT to create reactions & those R ALSO 'free speech'. 'Rights' are not the same as 'consequences'. When we speak hate, we draw it to us. It is how Trump stirred up hate across America. Words can h

    3. gregas profile image80
      gregasposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Trump didn't stir up hate. It was the people that didn't like what he said. Pure and simple.

    4. tamarawilhite profile image86
      tamarawilhiteposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      We cannot let the authoritarian left equate dissent with "fire", thus giving them permission to physically attack those they disagree with. That's fascism in the name of feelings.

    5. lovemychris profile image75
      lovemychrisposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      why was alternative prime banned from forums, then? hes a strong democrat. now silenced. why? did he personally attack, or they just dont like what he says?

    6. tamarawilhite profile image86
      tamarawilhiteposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know who  alternative prime is. I do know Facebook and Twitter are purging conservatives en mass, as well as labeling conservative news sites "fake" before banning them.

  9. profile image53
    Norine Williamsposted 7 years ago

    There are many states called "at will" states and one can be fired for anything that is not in violation of Federal statutes which are upheld by the US Government!  In other words, companies in "at will" states are given the right to fire one for anything they have established is in violation of what they perceive to be "morally" right or is in violation of what they perceive to be "right" as long as they don't violate Federal regulations! 

    Companies have the right to "censor" their employees' behavior.  Free Dictionary defines "censor" as "The suppression or proscription of speech or writing that is deemed obscene, indecent, or unduly controversial" and "at will" companies have the right to establish what is "obscene, indecent, or unduly controversial" as do websites!

    I've been admonished twice by HP!  Once for using the "N" word which is in the title of my (Black 66 year old woman) book and again for using a body part in one of my statements in which the Hubber sought satisfaction yet continued to display dissatisfaction after experiencing and I suggested "try JESUS!" 

    Consequently, there are "consequences" when speaking and it depends on how the "company" perceives "obscenity, indecency, or controversy!"  Therefore, it would behoove one to be aware of the company's rules before posting on the web.

    As "BELIEVERS" we "should" represent JESUS at all times; and as an employee we "should" represent the company at all times! 

    Great Example:  Donald Trump!  After he becomes President of the US, he will no longer have the privilege of "speaking his mind" but will then "display" representation of the entire country!  And so it is with employees of a company!

    Wouldn't you want your employees to be in agreement with your thinking since they represent you?  Don't you think JESUS wants us to be in agreement with HIS thinking ("ONE MIND")? 


    1. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I keep telling ALL to "STUDY" to be in agreement with JESUS' Handbook (Bible) for HIS employees; but MOST are intrigued by the computer (life) rather than what is or isn't permissible that's given in the Handbook (Bible)!

    2. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      This is a perfect answer. Asking for free speech to have no consequences regarding employment is asking to violate employers' freedom of religion.

    3. Sherry Hewins profile image92
      Sherry Hewinsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I hope that Donald Trump agrees with you, and tempers his hot-headed comments.

      My company has not told me its politics, so I would not know what opinion to conform with.

    4. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      IF policy not written: "Observe!"  Watch their lead!  Look & Listen!  Become "the fly on the wall!" 
      They're NEVER going to tell TRUTH, why we need "The Spirit of discernment" in everyday life as well!

    5. gregas profile image80
      gregasposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      How about just using common sense and courtesy?

    6. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      How about the "Spirit of Discernment" which comes ONLY from the CREATOR? 
      What greater 'knowledge' than THIS?

  10. profile image0
    PeterStipposted 7 years ago

    Freedom of speech is one of the best things a country can offer. I will fight for everybody who's right of freedom of speech is limited in one way or another, even if I strongly reject the ideas.
    Nevertheless everything you do in life has consequences. That's what children learn quickly enough.
    So If I go shouting along in front of a church that Jesus is a @@@whatever then clearly there will be consequences of my actions.  May it be imprisonment, a fine or excommunication.
    In other words, yes you can say whatever you want but it always has consequences, if you like it or not.

    1. gregas profile image80
      gregasposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      The problem is that these days the children DON'T learn that or a or a lot of things including RESPECT.

    2. Julie Nou profile image56
      Julie Nouposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      @Greg, true. Majority (not all) might be because of parent's lapses.

    3. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      @ Julie!  TRUE!  "Parent lapses" are due from not being "IN CHRIST"  before becoming a parent!  I'm guilty too!  Children "model" parents & see unrighteousness in parents;become "rebellious" saying "You did it!"  I know! I experienced!
      Now: RESPE

    4. Julie Nou profile image56
      Julie Nouposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Well, morality & right conduct doesnt need to be always because of Christ. Law is there to tell u if it is right or wrong, no matter if there is freedom of speech or not. Parents are not altogether be blamed. If u dont do the right thing, u r gui

    5. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Man's "law" is NOT GOD'S "LAW" as evidenced in abortion & same sex!
      Man establishes "morality" which errors! GOD "NEVER" err!  One finds out via "consequences!"   
      With "man," the "right thing" is in the eye of the beholder!

    6. profile image0
      PeterStipposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      So not being a Christian you are a bad parent? Tell that to the rest of the world. Muslims,Atheists,Hindus,Buddhists,Judaism etc. This is one of the reasons why bloody religion,yes,it is bloody is so often the core reason of wars.Show some respect N!

    7. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      "Parent lapses" (unrighteousness aka "lapses") was what we were talking & creates "disrespect" fm children; not RELIGION!
      "Morality" is also taught in those RELIGIONS & they serve "their God" but not THE GOD (IIKgs17:29-41)! 
      But, will(Matt

    8. profile image0
      PeterStipposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Quote : "Parent lapses" are due from not being "IN CHRIST"
      With this statement Norine you show disrespect to all the parents in the world with a different believe system then yours.

    9. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Peter, it's not about "respecting" others' beliefs but OBEYING GOD!  I "model" GOD'S WORD (aka GOD) & if HE has "no respect" for others, why should I?   
      READ II Kgs17:29-41;Lev19:17;IPet4:17;Matt23!
      Model JESUS; telling TRUTH(WORD)=Christian=LOV

  11. CYong74 profile image95
    CYong74posted 7 years ago

    The unfortunate fact is, the world is ugly. So and whether one likes it or not, there are always consequences for anything we do or say.

    Losing one's job would be extremely unfair for a political or social wisecracker. But remember that before freedom of speech, there's freedom of thought. One doesn't wish to consider the repercussions of his statements, then he shouldn't blame others for not thinking too much of him when they react.

  12. libertyordeath19 profile image74
    libertyordeath19posted 7 years ago

    Freedom of speech, as outlined in the Constitution, recognizes the right to speak freely without being persecuted by the Government.  It is a restriction placed on Uncle Sam, not a private business.  This is where allot of people get lost on the bill of rights.  The Constitution restricts the Government, and the Government only.  There is not a single thing in the Constitution that prohibits private citizens or private business from doing anything.  That is what makes the American experiment exceptional.  If a private business wants to let someone go, they should be able to do it whenever and however they want as long as it does not discriminate based on a list of protected classes, race, gender, etc.

    1. kristadambroso profile image81
      kristadambrosoposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Does this mean that if you have a fed government job, you're safe from getting fired no matter what you say?

    2. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      The Fed govt has knowledge of the statutes & knows how to discriminate subtly w/o violation of "protected classes"
      "making the American exp exceptional!" 
      U must know the law re: "retaliation" & must PROVE violation of "protected class!

    3. profile image0
      Cissy1946posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Two things. First, yes, your job is protected no matter what you say. However, if you threaten the President that is a felony and you won't get fired for the threat but you will get fired for being convicted of a felony. No space for #2...

    4. gregas profile image80
      gregasposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Cissy, a job is not protected no matter what you say. You may have the right to say what you want, but if you say the wrong thing they have the RIGHT to fire you. Plain and simple.

    5. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      True Greg!
      "Wrong thing" is in the eye of the beholder!

  13. Reiz Gichuru profile image57
    Reiz Gichuruposted 7 years ago

    freedom of speech allows to express your grievances to a certain party and so being your right it does have numerous consequences for example when you practice that right in front of your boss he/she has the freedom of expression and may get u fired. In a theatre when you yell FIRE!! in the name of freedom of speech, the rest have the freedom of expression to tell you to shut up

  14. dashingscorpio profile image83
    dashingscorpioposted 7 years ago

    Every company is allowed to determine whatever they consider to be just cause for termination. If you told your boss to "get lost" it shouldn't be a shock if you found yourself walking out with your box of belongings. Every society has it's decorum expectations.
    The same holds true for children talking back to their parents, cursing, or disrespecting them there are bound to be consequences.
    If there were a such thing as "absolute freedom of speech" there wouldn't be any lawsuits allowed for "libel", "slander", or "defamation".
    Many sexual harassment cases or contributing to a hostile work environment would also be non valid. Bullying is often verbal too.
    Having said that you can "say anything" you please ....but you don't get to tell people how to "react".  Some people might sue you and others may even react violently!
    "While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions” – Stephen R. Covey

  15. Chuck profile image83
    Chuckposted 7 years ago

    The First Amendment's freedom of speech clause simply prohibits Congress from passing a law "abridging the freedom of speech".  Originally this applied only to the Federal Government and not state or local governments.  The 14 Amendment to the Constitution (adopted in 1868) extended the prohibitions on government powers in the Bill of Rights to state and local governments.  This meant that neither the U.S. Congress nor state or local legislative bodies could pass laws abridging the freedom of speech. 

    The First Amendment only forbids government from passing laws limiting the freedom of speech, it does not apply to private institutions.  Owners of websites, radio/TV stations or other private property can restrict what people can say when using their property.  Employers can also limit the types of speech on the job or when representing the the employer in public.

    The bottom line is that the First Amendment applies only to government actions aimed at restricting speech.

  16. Julie Nou profile image56
    Julie Nouposted 7 years ago

    With every "rights" and "freedom" comes responsibility. Doesn't mean you're giving the liberty to say anything you're free with the consequences.

    Now consequences can be good or bad. You have the freedom to say what is on your mind every time your boss yells at you, but you cannot say No when the boss says you are fired "due" to what you said. In the same way, the boss would likewise face the responsibility for firing you.

    As simple as that... words are plainly powerful and you need to handle it like a sword, cause you will likely save or kill people through it.

    1. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Prov18:21 "Death & life are in the power of the tongue, & they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof!"

  17. flikabing profile image56
    flikabingposted 7 years ago

    Depending on the words that would come out from your mouth.

  18. Omar Eldamsheety profile image77
    Omar Eldamsheetyposted 7 years ago

    It depends on the results of what you say, if you will hurt someone with your words, then there should be consequences.

  19. Let-freedom-rigng profile image60
    Let-freedom-rigngposted 7 years ago

    Well, if you are posting things that are of extreme nature, as in drug abuse, or voilent in nature, or of extreme unaccepted sexual nature......
    The downside of posting online and letting it all hang out, is that people can seek your insights that are posted publicly online. Some things you may want to keep it under your hat. Depending on what type of work you do. Some companies like to keep a good public relation. Which includes who is employed by the company. One may assume responsibility as a representative of the company in which you are employed.

  20. Jennifer Mugrage profile image72
    Jennifer Mugrageposted 7 years ago

    My first reaction to this question is that "freedom of speech" means freedom from punishment only by the authorities. 

    In other words, our bill of rights says you should not be imprisoned, fined, or executed by the State for things that you say.  I think the Founders especially had in mind political speech (criticizing a leader, like the king or president, or criticizing the party in power).  They may also have had in mind freedom of religious speech (not being arrested or put in the stocks for blasphemy or heretical speech ... that is not much of a danger today, to put it mildly). 

    So, technically freedom of speech in the bill of rights does not protect you from a consequence like being fired, just as it doesn't protect you from lower-level social consequences like others being shocked, embarrassed, or deciding they don't want to date you/marry you/publish your book.

    That said, I think you are on to something in that, despite not being protected by the bill of rights, people are often unjustly punished for their speech.  What you are talking about is a witch hunt mentality.  It may not be unconstitutional, but it is certainly unjust. 

    Certain social/political "sins" (racism and sexism, just to name the biggest ones) are SUCH hot potatoes that all it takes is someone to accuse you of them, and your company will feel they almost HAVE to fire you.  Once you have been accused, it doesn't matter if it was a false accusation, or the person misinterpreted what you said.  Often you will not even be given a chance to defend yourself, because you are now branded a racist/sexist/homophobe to whom it would be immoral to give even the chance to speak.

    This phenomenon is well documented in the book So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson.  Ronson also has some great Ted Talks and perhaps some Youtube videos on the same topic.

    1. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      When GOD is involved, don't worry!  I have a publicist who's "waiting" & HE also knew before creation, HIS "gospel would be preached throughout the world; & then then the end would come" (Matt24:14)!

  21. TessSchlesinger profile image61
    TessSchlesingerposted 7 years ago

    First of all, freedom of speech means the freedom to talk badly about government and religion without being thrown into jail by the state. That is the historical context.

    It does not mean that someone on the internet is obliged to listen to your point of view. There is something called freedom of association, i.e. the ability to associate with whom one likes. The opposite of that is the freedom not to associate and not to hear and interact with people one is not interested in.

    Too many confuse the right not to hear others and the right not to respond as a negation of their freedom of speech. No , it is not. They are still free to say what they like about government and religion to anyone willing to listen to them without being arrested by the state.

    1. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      "The opposite of that is the freedom not to associate and not to hear and interact with people one is not interested in."
      AMEN!  "Choice" (Josh 24:15) & look what the "the world" has chosen (Matt 7:14)!
      They're going to be SHOCKED!

  22. Rock_nj profile image91
    Rock_njposted 7 years ago

    The 1st Amendment protects freedom of speech from consequences from the government for exercising freedom of speech, such as fines or jail terms or other court sanction government punishment.  While it may be unethical or unfair in some instances, private organizations and individuals are not bound by the same requirement as far as how they react to one utilizing their 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech.

  23. noeylab profile image60
    noeylabposted 7 years ago

    Once you have been accused it doesn't matter if it was a false accusation or the person misinterpreted what you said.

  24. Kylyssa profile image90
    Kylyssaposted 7 years ago

    Employers fire people for racist speech because racism goes against their deeply held moral and religious convictions. What you are asking for is to deny freedom of religion to employers. The same freedom of religion that allows conservative religious employers to fire employees for behaving against their deeply held beliefs also allows moderate and liberal religious employers to fire employees for racism.

    Free speech is just the mode by which the employers find out that their employees are racist, just like conservative employers might find out they have a gay employee by following them on social media. If gays have to stay in the closet online to keep their jobs with conservative religious companies, why shouldn't racists have to stay in the closet to keep theirs at moderate and liberal religious companies?

    Religious freedom is religious freedom even when it isn't your religion.

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image61
      TessSchlesingerposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      All religious freedom means is the freedom to practice your religion withoout fear that the State or the church will execute you or put you in jail. Historically, that is what they used to do.

    2. profile image0
      PeterStipposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Religious freedom and racism are two different things. To fire someone because of sexual preference is not the same as firing someone because he makes monkey sounds against a fellow employee or uses the Hitler greeting in public!!

    3. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      As is racism and sexual preference!  Sexual preference is a "choice" (GOD gives correct organs) & CAN NOT be compare to "race" which is NOT! 
      So you can "make your monkey sounds" or give "Hitler greeting" elsewhere bcuz all are protected classes

    4. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I don't agree with religious businesses firing people for being gay, but the religious right has fought for the right to discriminate against them. The same laws that allow that, allow others the right to fire racists.

    5. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Whether we (Christians) agree or not; they (gays) are a protected class!  If the religious organization has set forth "their" beliefs & is public record "prior to" gay receiving employment, firing justifiable (should have same belief)!

    6. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Incorrect, Norine. Relatively recent religious freedom laws allow religious business owners to legally discriminate against gays in the states that have the new laws. … s-why-now/

    7. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Shows "State by State" And will have to justify going against "Constitution-Separation of church & State!"Either way "GOD gives choice"(Josh24:15); so do I! Let them "Go for it!" Disclosure=Never hired; Non-Disclosure=they'll find basis to fire!

    8. profile image0
      PeterStipposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      You should try to be a bit more tolerant towards people Norine, trust me it opens doors and friendships.

    9. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      No "tolerance" if against WORD! What you want a "happy sinner" (temp;been there-done that) or "peace of mind" in righteousness(aka Christ)?  There's no comparison! 
      Keep living; praying you are as blessed as I & get there!
      Thank you JESUS

  25. Zandra Mullins profile image69
    Zandra Mullinsposted 7 years ago

    Unfortunately there will always be consequences to all of our actions.  We have freewill and can act as we choose, but there will always be someone who disagrees.  We have the right to free speech but there will always be someone with a different opinion.

  26. Sanket Chavan profile image61
    Sanket Chavanposted 7 years ago

    This may sound like a cliche but every action has consequences. Now, in terms of freedom of speech these consequences should not include an encroachment on one's personal liberties. Losing your job for expressing yourself is a consequence but it does not encroach upon a person's right to earn. The person is free to earn his living by getting a job some where else other than the employer who has been offended.

  27. profile image55
    peter565posted 7 years ago

    To quote the founding father Freedom without effecting the freedom of others.

    1. thatsprettygood profile image79
      thatsprettygoodposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      They said more than that but this isn't a freedom of speech issue, it's an issue of private entity which either at will employs you or contractually employs you.  Either way , they can cut you lose for anything you say that reflects poorly on them.

    2. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this


    3. profile image0
      PeterStipposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      If I owned a record store and an employee used offensive and sexist language towards a client I would fire him, wouldn't you do the same Cole?

  28. lesibecek profile image60
    lesibecekposted 7 years ago

    Silent like a donkey, considered speaking loud said plan

  29. mariacolomy profile image82
    mariacolomyposted 7 years ago

    Freedom of speech certainly doesn't mean 'no consequences' - it means that we have the freedom to express our opinions. It also means that others may do the same, even if we do not agree with those opinions.

    This explains why it's legal to burn a flag - it may be a dishonorable act, but it is an expression of disdain, and therefore covered under our 1st Amendment right. Free speech also protects the media.

    I think a better analogy than the one about shouting "FIRE" (that everyone googled) would be to say that if a publication decided to put out a very tasteless opinion piece, and that publication lost readership and revenue, this would be a good example of expecting the consequences of exercising the right to free speech.

    You wouldn't post on social media about hating your job, and expect there to be no repercussions. This law does not state anything about karma, but merely that you are not going to be arrested for speaking your opinion.

  30. SAQIB6608 profile image70
    SAQIB6608posted 7 years ago

    Freedom of speech is freedom until you dont hurt other sect, group or individual feelings. It does infer that uttering any kind of words is NOT freedom of speech. But RESPECTING others is FREEDOM of speech

    1. profile image54
      yourhomiebrianposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      You don't have to watch what you say as much if you are black. Black skinnis excellent for protection. Just get a dark chocolate tan shave your head and get your drivers license renewed and say good bye to your troubles.

    2. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Dung!  You should have told President Obama that 8 years ago!  Why'd ya hold back this pertinent info?
      We could be better off if he'd been informed! 
      I missed it; not in right 'blood line' for IGNORANCE; I guess!

    3. SAQIB6608 profile image70
      SAQIB6608posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I can not get you. say openly

    4. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Why didn't "yourhomiebrian" share this "important" information w/Obama so he would be "protected?" 
      They ate him alive!  Couldn't even attend the church of his choice nor dye his hair! Remember? Oh, I forgot!  He was supposed to "shave that head!"

  31. Lori P. profile image71
    Lori P.posted 7 years ago

    Freedom of speech is intended to provide protection for speaking one's own opinions. It is NOT an opinion to yell out something that will incite violence or spark danger and panic in a public place. To cause harm is a crime and there are consequences for that.

    As for losing a job over voicing one's opinion, you have to know the difference between an opinion and a hateful stance. An opinion is whether or not you like coffee with creamer or not. Disliking someone based upon his race is not an opinion. It is a very ignorant, bigoted view that reveals a flawed character. And yes, employers have the right to fire someone over that because it taints their company, their work environment, and their company's ability to provide quality customer service.

    You are free to say what you want but everything as consequences. If you have the right to say horrible things, then everyone else has the right to shun you for it.

  32. Dakk profile image86
    Dakkposted 7 years ago

    Of course there need to be consequences for certain things, but it is still a right that needs to be strongly upheld. I know its a bit of an odd concept for a lot of people, but freedom of speech is not an absolute right, but this can only be explained properly within a context. One should have the freedom to hold any opinion as long as it does not infringe on anyone's rights. This is why exposing racist ideas or speeches in favor of, say, killing another person, are not things that can be protected under freedom of speech, as it infringes on another's rights, while being critic of one's political leaning is fine.

    Of course, there are several interest groups that aim to demonize their opponents and twist their speech as if it were something racist or any other such thing not protected by the right of free speech, with the intent to silence them, which is why we need to be vigilant and not fall for that kind of disohonesty, even if it is perpetrated by someone we like against someone we don't like. Freedom of speech must be upheld always, regardless of interest and opinion.

    Freedom of speech is both a right AND a duty.

    For example, if I am criticized, I can answer the critic with my own arguments, but I must never attempt to silence them, for it is my duty to uphold one's rights to speak out against my opinions, just as it is my critic's duty to uphold my right to disagree with him or her.

    I could probably be more clear and direct in this, but I'm kinda tired so please forgive me. This is a good thing to discuss nowadays where narratives are thrown around against anyone that dares criticize the stablished opinion groups in society.

    Freedom of speech unfortunely has the same weakness as many of the great things achieved through democracy and the human rights: it requires a certain measure of altruism, since I must uphold my fellow human being's rights in order for my rights to also be respected. Unfortely, a lot of people still take a very egotistical view of how rights work. They look at the "right" and forget the "duty" part.

  33. shanmarie profile image71
    shanmarieposted 7 years ago

    There are a lot of good answers posted here, so I doubt my two cents will add much to it. But I think of it like this: if your child says something inappropriate or unacceptable, you will reprimand him or her. You teach that child appropriate social behavior and even in what context certain behaviors might be more acceptable. We learn from a young age how to read what someone's reaction to what we say or do might be. When hired, we are expected to act professional at all times, particularly in the job. Now days, social media easily displays other aspects of our personality and moods in a more public manner. It may not always be fair, but we can't separate personal and professional lives as easily as we have before. Employers judge out character by the things we post on social media. While it may not be the same thing as calling your boss a pig headed jerk in person, if you speak poorly of your company online, there might be consequences. If you speak poorly of a particular group of people, there may be consequences at work, depending on who is watching. It's generally best to think before posting online or to accept that others can and will judge you for what you say.

  34. VVBetting profile image61
    VVBettingposted 7 years ago

    The question that is quite difficult for me to answer. As a new member at HubPages, I can only say Greetings to all ..

  35. MarleneB profile image91
    MarleneBposted 7 years ago

    Freedom of speech originated as a way to keep the government from silencing and punishing citizens for saying what they want about the government. Beyond that association, free speech comes with a price that you must be willing to pay to say. Following freedom of speech is the freedom of people's responses to what you say. For example, if I get on a social media platform and start posting nasty comments about my boss, then I must be willing to understand that my boss may not like what I say, consequently my boss has the freedom of firing me. Sure, I'm free to say what I want to say. That's freedom. But, that freedom has a price. Sure, I feel free to say what I want, but I also need to be ready to suffer the consequences when others respond to what I say.

  36. REALfoodie profile image80
    REALfoodieposted 7 years ago

    Freedom of thought and freedom of speech are sacred in a society.  This is why these acts are dangerous to any "regime" that wants to control people, and strictly forbidden in religious cults and totalitarian dictatorships. Why do you think censorship is alive and well in China? North Korea? And several Islamic theocracies?

    When you ban topics, you shut down dialogue, and your brain eventually becomes crippled, unable to think critically or reason logically. Healthy debates involve ALL points of view and an honest discussion of why they exist. How else can we arrive at solutions to problems? Many people today have vacuum sealed minds and are incapable of entertaining an opposing view- they lack the empathy and objectivity, and cannot put themselves in the shoes of someone else. For this reason, their view of the world is myopic and the only "correct views" are the ones espoused within their little bubble.

    Someone who fires an employee due to a difference of opinion is a tragedy. I am not referring to extreme cases (like a terrorist who expresses his desire to kill people), but rather social and political issues that harm no one. People have a right to their opinion and unless they cannot perform their job because of it, firing them is unethical and unconstitutional.

  37. profile image0
    Review Wizardposted 7 years ago

    We all can have a different opinion about the same thing and rightly so it`s totally okay. But that doesn`t give one authority to impose his opinion on other people that too in matters of our societal integrity. Some issues are personal and in that case one is free to have a different sort of opinion but when it is the matter of society we are obliged to reach to a common conclusion. And to give a person a chance to have his say in societal matters is his right to speech and if that is denied that would mean a direct attack on right to speech. If an employee has something to say about the employer or the company itself, he can do so by discussing it with the boss rather than commenting from some distant corner or via social media and if a person actually does so he is rightfully to bear the consequences.

  38. e-five profile image92
    e-fiveposted 7 years ago

    If you're free to say what you want without consequences, why doesn't your embarrassed employer have the right to "make a statement" by firing your boorish, insensitive, disgusting loud-mouth ass? I also find it amusing that a lot of the same people who tout freedom of speech to insult people are not down with it when it comes to Republican authority figures.

    1. profile image0
      PeterStipposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      completely agree, when you're comparing Trump with Hitler America is to small. But if you say that Mexicans are lazy and criminals there is no problem.

  39. terrance Smith profile image60
    terrance Smithposted 7 years ago

    Vice versa be careful is all it means
    it says that we're free to snitch on ourselves lol

  40. padmaja123456 profile image61
    padmaja123456posted 7 years ago

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  41. thatsprettygood profile image79
    thatsprettygoodposted 7 years ago

    You were never able to say what you wanted.  Another uneducated person screaming freedom of speech.  Please go read the constitution again. Secondly , your job is a private entity and you are at will contracted with it(in most states).  Unless you are in a union(and even then a company can take the penalty).  This means you have no freedom of speech.  If an employer sees a racist rant you made went viral they will fire you in a heart beat(even in non at will states they have 'codes of conduct" when you sign your hire sheet).  That's smart business, period. I am sorry you or your friends find it complicated to act like a decent human beings.  Start your own business. Our constitution makes the stipulations of freedom of speech very clear, you are liable for false speech that causes injury, you are liable for slander, you are liable for hate speech, threats, or speech that enable fraud either directly or indirectly (Enron was a private entity but made false statement on a public market causing loss).  You have to understand that even as a private company you are liable for public relations.  Meaning if you wake up and tell your share holders you think the company will make millions more this year because Trump is presidents and you don't have to hire black just screwed yourself...because you will take the hit and consequences from that statement in a public form , and then you will take a hit when the company under performs likely due to your idiotic comments. You could then even end up in prison because you mislead investors.  Think about what you say, or be quiet. No one cares for intolerant or ignorant statements.  Keep your opinion to yourself because its worthless in the real world. You have no right to speech to infringe on other peoples rights.  They deserve to all lose their jobs, period. Your begging to differ means nothing. If an exec with Nike makes a horrible tweet that hundreds of thousand of people criticize the course of action is clear.  Fire him, who cares if he's union and you have to pay him two years salary.  Better than the damage 200k people who now don't buy from you and try to get their friend not to buy from you can do to your company.  There are consequences for every action in life, that's the big boy world.

    1. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Hello "Big Boy!" 
      We're "responsible" for our actions!

  42. profile image50
    victoriaricky1posted 7 years ago

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  43. profile image55
    Kammjposted 7 years ago

    Freedom of speech is a very important right in society, people can and should  be able to speak their mind.

    However, within an employment context an employee needs to exercise discrection over his/her opinion.

    An employer will not be happy if an employee says things that are illegal, or makes comments that are deregoratoy to his/her employer, so it follows that making deregoratoy/illegal comments can result in disciplinary action or dismissal.

  44. jellygator profile image90
    jellygatorposted 7 years ago

    In my opinion, you're only talking about legal consequences. There are other types of consequences, too, such as harm to your reputation. Don't you know someone who you avoid because of the way the talk and the things they say? Well, your avoidance of them is a consequence of the way they exercise their freedom of speech.

    Now, sometimes people are not aware of the consequences of their words, like the many times I've alienated people by being too blunt and not showing enough sensitivity when I thought I was helping them out, but alas, the consequences are still there, right along with my ignorance.

  45. MichaelMcNabb profile image60
    MichaelMcNabbposted 7 years ago

    The term freedom of speech has nothing to do with saying whatever you want to say.  It has to do with criticizing whomever you want to criticize within the government or government actions and processes.  Critiquing the government is not punishable and has no legal consequences.

    If however you want to critique someone who has power over you there might be consequences.  For example if you critique your employer you may loose your job.  However, the freedom of speech right prevents your employer from legally having you jailed so long as what you said is not deemed to be of illegal nature such as making death threats.

    The next freedom of speech example is that of the press to report journalistic opinion regarding government officials and operations.  They news reporter is given the right to report without consequence so long as their reports aren't slanderous in nature.  Again, the freedom has only to do with government.  You could report that Nixon is a crook and have no consequence but if you were to report that your employer is a crook because you were disgruntled for being passed for promotion you could find yourself both unemployed as well as in court defending yourself for slander.

  46. Brians Review profile image64
    Brians Reviewposted 7 years ago

    There's always a cause and effect to any speech or action. It's up to our government to recognize our freedom to say unpopular things, and protect that right. In balance, if that speech is infringing on another's individual rights to peace, then your are held responsible for your public disturbance.

  47. writejt profile image66
    writejtposted 7 years ago

    All freedoms, rights and other safeties are intended to protect the hurt, offended or the underprivileged. I think the legal system is made to treat offenders, as well as the offended, properly. Those who are unhurt, or not guilty, do not need to worry about freedom of .., and those people are expected to follow the correct civic behavior, which they are always used to. Therefore, I think one should definitely have freedom of speech if charged with an offence, or if offended, and one should behave in a civic manner, in all other circumstances.

  48. Reason and Facts profile image77
    Reason and Factsposted 7 years ago

    People have the freedom to do anything at any time, limited only by what is physically possible.  A person is free to rob a bank.  A person is free to vandalize a public building.  A person is free to speed.

    Freedom does not mean there are no consequences.

  49. apkmode profile image59
    apkmodeposted 7 years ago
  50. profile image54
    yourhomiebrianposted 7 years ago

    Black skin is the best protection a man could ever have. It is time 4 the white man to get a dark chocolate spray tan. And shave his head.  White skin has got to go. It is the weak link.


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