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Free speech (also called freedom of speech) is one of the right guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech. . . .


As noted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997:

The dramatic expansion of this new marketplace of ideas contradicts the factual basis of this contention. The record demonstrates that the growth of the Internet has been and continues to be phenomenal. As a matter of constitutional tradition, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we presume that governmental regulation of the content of speech is more likely to interfere with the free exchange of ideas than to encourage it. The interest in encouraging freedom of expression in a democratic society outweighs any theoretical but unproven benefit of censorship.[1]


  1. Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844, 885 (1997).

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