131

While Germany does promote free speech, same as the USA does, their free speech means something different: False information is not an object worthy of protection from the viewpoint of freedom of opinion (54 BVerfGE 208, 219). The deliberate assertion of untrue facts is not protected by article 5, paragraph 1 of the Basic Law; Merkel did not say Trump ...


115

You need to keep in mind that the press freedom ratings is not a measure of freedom of speech, but freedom of the press, and the US is still ranked as "fairly good". Specifically, the index describes itself: What does it measure? The Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists. It is a snapshot ...


80

This is a common misconception. Freedom of speech does not mean that everybody can say whatever they want, whenever they want and wherever they want. It means essentially that people cannot be legally punished for expressing their opinions, except if said opinions infringe on other freedoms. This means that people are allowed to express their opinions, but ...


77

tim's answer already covers the Press Freedom Index methodology. I'd like to add that for the United States the significant component of the result is the abuses score of 37.40. This is a fairly large number: the second highest among the top 50, after Denmark (which has a score of 45, apparently, due to the murder of Kim Wall in 2017). US Press Freedom ...


63

The Law and Polish Complicity in the Holocaust While "Poland as a nation" is not to blame for the Holocaust, and while there was no official cooperation between Poland and Germany, government institutions as well as individual Poles collaborated with the Nazis (see also here): As German forces implemented the killing, they drew upon some Polish agencies, ...


63

Of course no other country protects freedom of speech "as the United States do." They have their own rules which are not quite the same. Some give equivalent protections, some do not. There is a tendency to see the restrictions on freedom of speech (or other freedoms) which apply in your country as just common sense and as properly safeguarded by courts. ...


54

Fact checking is neither easy nor instantaneous. The time taken to fact-check even a simple statement and do it thoroughly is measured in hours, not minutes. For example, let's take one of Trump's most famous and simplest lies, one most clearly known to be false, that his inauguration was the biggest in history. To get a definitive answer you need to: Go ...


51

We can not read Angela Merkel's mind, so her true motives are pure speculation. However, the original article by Reuters which is named as a source in the CNBC article linked in the question expands more on her stated rationale for her position: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reservations about the way President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was ...


48

This topic is examined at quite some length in Ontario Law Reform Commission, Report on Political Activity, Public Comment and Disclosure by Crown Employees (1986) (cited by Mcmanus v Scott-Charlton which was cited in the judgement of the original case in question, which is how I ended up on it; I mention this lest one think that a Canadian document might ...


46

In very general terms, the contemporary understanding of freedom of expression is that it should be relatively uninhibited provided that it satisfies two conditions: It does not infringe on other people's rights and liberties. It does not infringe on the necessary conditions for a democratic society to exist. This concept (known as limitation clause) is ...


39

1) They would be absolutely allowed to promote any political agenda as a publisher, but not necessarily as a platform. It's contentious whether famous Section 230 allows them to find a perfect sweet spot: shielded from any liability for content posted by crazy users as if they were merely a platform; having huge editorial discretion in selecting what to ...


39

It is a bit more complicated. I live in Germany, and StGb §166 (StGb being "Strafgesetzbuch", the penal code) makes insults against religious groups illegal. There is also a paragraph in the constitution that says I enjoy free speech. Since this is at the face of it not compatible with each other, we have courts and judges that, when necessary, ...


38

TL;DR: The answer to "why" is because limits on freedom of expression makes the regime less disliked (your question is confusing cause and effect - the popularity of the regime is a consequence of limits on free expression) and reduces both the effort required to stay in power and the likelihood that it falls out of power. It's as simple as that. ...


36

ECHR Article 10 applies almost everywhere in Europe: Article 10 – Freedom of expression Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring ...


35

The core concept here is procedural fairness—or rather, the appearance of procedural fairness. Procedural fairness involves whether impartial and open procedures are used when decisions affecting the well being of others are made. Is the decision-maker impartial? Is the game rigged? Procedural fairness is crucial for the health of a democracy because when ...


33

There's an international dimension here. While US commentators largely see this in a US domestic context (an American company deciding what to do about American problems), Merkel will be looking at it in an international context; the idea of an American company making decisions about what a European head of state can and can't say is much more worrying. (We ...


32

Up front: Holocaust Denial is not limited under U.S. law. There is an adequate list on Wikipedia of free speech exceptions, that for convenience I will replicate here: Communicative impact restrictions (e.g. incitement, elicitation) False statements of fact (e.g. libel, slander, perjury) Obscenity (very tightly interpreted, and only regulated in public) ...


31

Are there really no countries that protect Freedom of Speech as the United States do? The question is poorly framed. I interpreted it such that you imply that the US is at the top of some "Freedom of Speech" measurement. However, nothing comes even close to a universally accepted "Freedom of Speech" index which could provide us with a preorder. The one ...


28

This is not a valid dichotomy, because "identity politics" simply means an election campaign strategy of saying "Vote for us if you belong to [demographic] because we are the party of [demographic]". But people who justify discrimination of minorities with freedom of speech rights are also a demographic which politicians can and do cater to. And I would ...


26

Constitutional vs. human rights Did the protestors, by effectively making the area surrounding the planned talk so unsafe that it had to be cancelled, infringe on the speaker's first amendment rights Individuals cannot infringe on a speaker's first amendment rights in the United States. The first amendment is a restriction on federal power that was ...


23

Because it Violates Sovereignty The political science and legal concept here is sovereignty. The basic notion of sovereignty is that any sovereign power is free to rule itself without interference by other sovereign powers in its internal affairs. The principle of non-intervention further says that no state should interfere in the political independence of ...


23

Sedition, the technical legal term for what you're talking about, is prohibited by section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). This dates all the way back to the colonial era, and was originally used to suppress people pushing for India's independence from Britain. The Supreme Court of India ruled in 1962 that section 124A was constitutional, but that ...


23

Consider where your line of thought will lead: You own or have rented a house or apartment, I presume. Would it be censorship if you stop me from painting political slogans on your bedroom wall? Or would it simply be you exercising your right to determine how your bedroom is to be used? Say you invite a couple of friends for a party. Would it be censorship ...


22

The Maryland Law Review published an article summarizing several sources of the U.S. freedom of the press (Bogen, 1983). Parliamentary Privilege Prior to the American revolution, freedom of press and speech were only applied to members of Parliament as a part of their official duties. At this point the two rights were distinct: members of Parliament ...


22

If a person or organization inside the state interferes in an election by illegal means, the citizens and government have lawful ways of dealing with that through the courts or election councils. A foreign state can't be stopped so easily, as we've seen in Russia's case. There was no way for Hillary Clinton to sue the hackers that broke into the DNC ...


22

The Wikipedia page of self-censorship just tell part of the story, there are other "invisible hand" such as corporate censorship. Media may reject story or even advertisement that "offend" their main advertisement buyers. A good example is consumer goods price hikes by the change of packaging, US media usually dare not to report it, or using the free ...


21

Question: Why don't politicians get fact checked immediately? If the emphasis is on "immediately", I generally agree that it may not be possible to challenge a politician's statement in real time. It maybe possible on occasion, but not consistantly. To that extent I agree with @Clayworth's answer. However, if the "immediately" is dropped from the question, ...


21

There is no consensus. Not even among the so-called Western nations, and certainly not beyond that. Many countries use double standards for their own citizens (or residents) and those of other nations. One group is protected by their constitution, the other isn't. Some countries are making distinctions between the content of communication and the metadata (...


21

Assuming your question is to be interpreted as "show me examples", what happened more recently that's reasonably relevant to a scenario like you propose was Wukan, in which local anti-corruption and to a certain extent pro-[local]-democracy activists were eventually suppressed: During the 2011 protests, Zhuang helped barricade the coastal hamlet ...


21

Since you ask about the situation around the world, as an example of such a law (kind of) the UK has the Representation of the People Act 1983 which among other clauses has: 106 (1) A person who, or any director of any body or association corporate which— (a) before or during an election, (b) for the purpose of affecting the return of any candidate at the ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible