Opinion / Forum Digests

Free speech exists in this forum?
By Liangzai (bbs.chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2006-03-17 15:39

Do guys feel free in China Daily Forum? Liangzai has his own perspective.

1) Free speech is a right in certain countries as a general rule, with exceptions in all instances; there is a limit to free speech in every country (hate speech, inciting rebellion or violence, and child porn are three common examples in most of the West).

2) Free speech doesn't make you entitled to state your mind freely in any medium (you can't for example demand to have your wisdoms printed in a newspaper), but only at those venues you control or own yourself.

3) Free speech in a BBS, a forum or another venue for discussion is entirely at the mercy of those who are in charge of these venues; this includes the BBS of China Daily, whose moderators can arbitrarily delete or edit content; it is their right, and it has nothing to do with free speech in general.

4) What you can't say on China Daily, you may (or may not) say in another forum, or on your own site or blog; if you were to put up a web site in China, there is a list of items that limit your freedom of speech; this list is shorter than you think, and freedom of speech has expanded considerably in China lately, contrary to popular belief.

The above content represents the view of the author only.