freedom of expression
Freedom of expression is a principle contained in various human rights documents. Its objective is to ensure that people are able to communicate and express opinions, in public, private, either written or spoken, without the interference of the state or others. It is not an absolute right; therefore it generally only has applicability where the purpose of expression is lawful, and where the act of expression does not infringe the human rights of others (for example, a racist hate speech may not use the right of freedom of expression to permit its communication). Freedom of expression is one of the main themes within the emerging field of internet rights. According to the APC Internet Rights Charter, freedom of expression should be protected from infringement by government and non-state actors. The internet is a medium for both public and private exchange of views and information across a variety of frontiers. Individuals must be able to express opinions and ideas, and share information freely when using the internet.
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Source: GenderIT.org and APC Internet Rights Charter
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