Recent days I've had interesting conversations here at deviantart about this issue, especially with `gilad
in his fine journal entry.
I've travelled all over the world, I've met so many people, some under communist rule, some under dictatorship, some under occupation, some rich and lot's of poor people.
Let me first say, that no one, under any circumstance can "limit" freedom of speech, it is one thing that defines our civilization that must be intact. As soon as we "limit" it, block some people from saying whatever they want, it's not freedom anymore.
Even if what they are saying are lies and may hurt us, if we shut them up we're no better than them.
And it doesn't matter what they say is "lies" or not lies, if it's not backed up by proof it's useless. We're in the 21st century, not the middleages... If some nut says the holocaust didn't happen, no one would believe him, now one would even listen to him. But you cannot deny holocaust in Austria for instance. It's simply illegal.
Freedom of Speech doesn't only mean "I can say what I want", but also that you can TAKE what others say, even if it hurts.
Only ten years ago genocide was committed in my country against my fellow citizen and there are many today that deny that fact. I know what happened, I've seen the massgraves. But I would never dream of "shutting them up", instead I would show them the massgraves. Show them the evidence.
There is only a tiny step from limiting freedom of speech to becoming a sort of propaganda.
Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to dictatorship.
Remember Voltaire? "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."