Posted by: bluesyemre | September 19, 2021

Who cares about free speech? Findings from a global survey of support for free speech

For immediate release: A new survey reveals that most people and nations strongly support free speech in principle but have reservations in practice.

A global survey “Who Cares about Free Speech?” has been conducted by YouGov for the legal think tank Justitia, which asks citizens in 33 countries questions about their attitude towards free speech in principle and testing their attitude when confronted with controversial speech and trade-offs.

Support for the principle of free speech is very high, averaging around 90 percent in all countries, but it drops substantially when put to the test against supposedly competing values such as statements offensive to religion and minority groups or statements disclosing information that could destabilize the national economy.

To assess the actual support for free speech in a country, the survey includes a composite measure, the Justitia Free Speech Index, based on answers to eight “tough” questions. The top scorer is Norway with 80 points average approval on all eight questions while Pakistan is at the bottom with only 38 points.

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