Three reasons why freedom of expression is essential to a free society.
“It’s the foundation of self-fulfillment. The right to express one’s thoughts and to communicate freely with others affirms the dignity and worth of each and every member of society, and allows each individual to realize his or her full human potential. Thus, freedom of expression is an end in itself — and as such, deserves society’s greatest protection.
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship and/or limitation.
The right to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law.
Furthermore freedom of speech is recognized in European, inter-American and African regional human rights law.
It’s vital to the attainment and advancement of knowledge, and the search for the truth. The eminent 19th-century British writer and civil libertarian, John Stuart Mill, contended that enlightened judgment is possible only if one considers all facts and ideas, from whatever source, and tests one’s own conclusions against opposing views. Therefore, all points of view — even those that are “bad” or socially harmful — should be represented in society’s “marketplace of ideas.”
And finally, it’s necessary to our system of self-government and gives the people a “checking function” against government excess and corruption. If the people are to be the masters of their fate and of their elected government, they must be well-informed and have access to all information, ideas and points of view.