So every time free speech is brought up lately, some uninformed people like to say how this, that or the other country doesn't have free speech. When it is tried to explain to them that free speech doesn't include defamation, slander and the like, there are a slew of irrelevancies to follow.
- That actually factual statements should free no matter what.
- To not be offended isn't a right.
- The right to say anything is more free than the right not to (slander).
All of those (and more) are irrelevant to the fact that free speech does not include the right to slander/libel.
For starters definitions:
Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, traducement, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is thecommunication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation a negative or inferior image. This can be also any disparaging statement made by one person about another, which is communicated or published, whether true or false, depending on legal state. In Common Law it is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed.
Slander: a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.
“- That actual factual statements should be free no matter what.”
Obviously if defamation, and more specifically slander, is defined as FALSE it does not include TRUE factual statements. If you are not lying then you are free to speak. But, as in most courts, the burden of proof lies with the one making the allegations. It is not up to the person you want to slander to disprove your claim. It is up to you to prove your claim.
“- To not be offended isn't a right.”
Free speech and defamation has nothing to do with taking offence. Defamation is the attempt to, expressly or implied, pass malicious, false and defamatory information as factual. Whether it offends someone or not is irrelevant. Whether it can be proven to be factual is the only relation to free speech. The purpose of anti-defamation laws is not to prevent offence, but to prevent people from attempting to spread false information (with the intent to harm others and/or profit).
“- The right to say anything is more free than the right not to (slander)."
“Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights permits restrictions on freedom of speech when necessary to protect the reputation or rights of others.” The rest of the world, and 200+ years of debate disagrees with you. You have the right to be protected from blatant out right lies against your character and reputation. The burden of proof is not on the person being defamed to prove someone else is lying.
My right to swing my fist ends where the other man's face begins. Anti-defamation laws protect the average person from biased, false, unfounded, unjust, unauthoriative prosecution. Anti-defamation laws only restrict the freedom of the malicious liar while preserving the freedom of everyone else.
Defamation, Criminal Defamation and “The United Nations Commission on Human Rights ruled in 2012 that the criminalization of libel violates Freedom of expression and isinconsistent with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
This only means that punishing defamation as a crime violates Freedom of Expression. That punishing someone in jail or with fines for defamation violates Freedom of Expression. It does not mean you are free to defame. The claimiants right to not be criminalized does not interfere with the defendants right to be free of unjust prosecution.
I have done my best to summarize 200+ years of debate. None of this is my opinion. It is the opinion of the European Convention on Human Rights. If you can't be bothered to read my post or any other sources on defamation, then dont be bothered to post. I assure you, your opinion as already been considered somewhere in this long standing debate.