Freedom of expression is the power or right to express one’s opinions, through speech, writing and other forms of communication, without censorship, restraint or legal penalty, but without deliberately causing harm to others and tarnishing others reputation by false or misleading statement.
Why people are always found in discussions that end up in bloodshed is because many misuse the term ‘FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION’. If you are so aware of the term ‘freedom of expression’, you should also be aware that everyone else is entitled this rights, as well as every other fundamental rights.
The freedom to express is no freedom to disrespect anyone. freedom of expression is not a licence to abuse. it is a responsibility.
If you use your freedom of expression to harm anyone’s image or reputation, you have trampled on their ‘right to dignity of human person’, therefore you are a criminal.
If you insult anyone in the name on ‘freedom of expression’ don’t forget they also have their rights to express freely, therefore don’t feel offended if they retaliate.
Your freedom of expression is a freedom to air an opinion not a freedom to disrespect anyone’s opinion.
In early 2017, a Northern Nigerian celebrity was arrested for allegedly writing false facts about his relatives being attacked in southern Kaduna. By the morning of his arrest, there was a massive campaign on social media by fans and relatives for his release. I do not have all the facts concerning this issue, but if truly the man in question laid false facts, then there is nothing wrong with his arrest, because the statements were misleading.
Many times people drop opinions on social media, and those who do not share their views come out to insult them. Sometimes this word battle drags on so long that even friend and relatives come in on it. Have anyone ever thought about what would happen if they could actually see each other? Maybe it would be bloodshed which might lead to death or arrest. It is definitely not worth it.
Next time we think of using our rights to express freely, let’s not forget that, harming others reputation or making misleading statements in the process has crossed the line of that freedom. LET’S EXPRESS NOT DISRESPECT.