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Freedom of speech: The First Amendment

The Freedom of Speech is one of the most powerful amendments that we have as apart of the United States Constitution. Without this right many ideas, beliefs and inventions would not exist today and the majority of the society would be left in ignorance. This right is given to all American citizens and allows them to speak their minds, beliefs and ideas to anybody of people that are willing to listen to them. Though Freedom of Speech is considered a general terms that applies to all forms of speech, there are a few exceptions to the rule.

Limitations on the First Amendment

The First Amendment is very powerful and has the ability to promote, protect and even destroy and harm. This power has to have some checks and balances associated with that allow for a somewhat peaceful interaction between American citizens. Slander, libel, obscenity,sedition, copyright infringement and revelation of classified knowledge don’t fall under the umbrella of the First Amendment. Acts of libel are speaking or writing things that defame the name of a person or business. Slander is usually spoken while libel can either be written or spoken. Obscenity is a action or statement made that goes against the moral fiber of the society for a certain time. Sedition is verbal or physical resistance of authority figures and those in office, some of these actions and words can actually cause pandemonium within the American people.

Looking Deeper at the First Amendment

Delegating and regulating the First Amendment is like trying to dive and swim through murky water. This is a very hard thing for most judicial powers to do, as there are so many ways that a letter, speech or spoken word can be taken. In reality acts of sedition and libel occur everyday, but the majority of them are not enforced by law enforcement because of the obvious implications of it. Imagine if everyone who committed libel were locked up. The jail houses would be filled to the brim with convicts and those who were found guilty of speaking out of term.

Aside for the restrictions placed on the first amendment there are other rights that go along with the first amendment that Americans make use of. Under the First Amendment you have the right to search for information and ideas, receive information and the right to pass on information to whoever is willing. These rights are especially important and fundamental to the American way of life. Freedom is not freedom without the right to expressing yourself freely. Freedom of expression transcends simple print and goes all that way towards the information found on the internet. In reality this right is tied with nearly all the other rights and freedoms found in the constitution. Imagine life without this right, there would be no Facebook, Myspace or social networking sites. Every book, magazine and novel would go through a rigorous screening process. Finally information would be stifled some events and news would not even be known about if it weren’t for the First Amendment.