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Why is Freedom of Speech necessary
in a free society?

We offer discursive articles as a glimpse into our GP programme as well as educate the public on important issues. Within a broad range of themes, we will discuss the topic on Freedom of Speech this month. This month’s issue puts the spotlight on the necessity of Freedom of Speech and its role in shaping a free society.

Introduction
Freedom of speech, defined as the right to articulate one’s opinions and ideas, pervades every life in a society due to its fundamental nature. With the advent of the Internet, the media have given rise to big names such Facebook and Google – platforms supporting the opinions of all. However, the government, in support of censorship, has sought to prohibit certain information in order to contain their citizens. Therefore, this article explains the necessity for freedom of speech in a free society.

Main Body
Freedom of speech is necessary as it represents individual right and in turn, self-value. Having an individual right empowers a person within a society as it encourages them give an opinion without the fear of condemnation. This right provides a sense of individuality and its self esteem which raises the value and worth of the society in whole. Consequently, mental and spiritual well-being of individuals raise positively. In USA, freedom of speech has been championed as part of Democracy. Through freedom of speech, there has been more discussions on sensitive issues like homosexuality, racial discrimination and even bipartisan politics etc, without the fear of being ostracised. These discussions have spurred events and activities such as ‘Pride Marches’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ which showcase individuals exercising their right to speech and in turn, raise their value in the society.

Moreover, freedom of speech is necessary in improving societal functioning which reaps more benefits. Freedom of speech enables a more dynamic society and promotes a breeding ground for innovative and inventive ways of governance and of doing business. The society attains the ability to improve itself and function effectively and efficiently, which help the nation to grow in turn. Countries like Singapore have strived to provide much freedom in the entrepreneurial field, especially in incubating platforms like IIE, NTUitive and NUS Startup Runway from SMU, NTU and NUS respectively. These platforms are open to anyone to exercise their freedom of speech and proliferate business ideas, growing their own startups with help from mentors. Such initiatives allow the society to function more effectively in the critical fields to the economy. Therefore, it can be seen that freedom of speech, under guidance, certainly improves societal functioning.

Conclusion
It is clear that a society benefits from the intents of freedom of speech as it gives rise to value in all individuals and help raise societal functioning. Freedom of speech, hence, serves its place in the society and should be deemed necessary in a free society. However, it is also important to note the misuse of freedom of speech by the media and understand the limitations of freedom speech.

What other GP issues do we discuss?

Touching on the topic of Freedom of Speech, there is also a need to discuss related topics so as to form a broader understanding of the issue. Other articles include the history of fake news and regulation of the press, which raises the academic exposure of our students.Touching on the topic of Freedom of Speech, there is also a need to discuss related topics so as to form a broader understanding of the issue. Other articles include the history of fake news and regulation of the press, which raises the academic exposure of our students.

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