The concept of freedom of speech is very funny if you asked me.
I think this concept is funny because of how people (sometimes including me) struggle to draw the line between when a person has the right to say absolutely whatever is on his/her mind save for when the law draws a line he/she must not cross (e.g tortuous cases and hate speeches among others).
Nevertheless this, I still find it amusing how this struggle goes on and on, especially recently with Donald Trump and his supporters as a case in point and how other people who do not support Trump react to his Tomfoolery.
When I was a student of the Faculty of Law University of Lagos, an ambassador from the US embassy came to the faculty on a weekend to speak with some of the Students, and he made some statements.
He said; ” In the US, we do not stop people from saying whatever they may want to say, we do not shout people down, and the government will not shut anyone up. which is why anyone can go on TV to make a fool of themselves by their own utterances… after a person has finished saying what he has to say, then (as long as he/she isn’t breaking any law) the society is left to be the judge of whether whatever said is actually stupid, foolish etc. or not.”
Basically, because you have a right to freedom to express yourself does not mean that we cannot criticise, and challenge you or call you out on what you have said.
Freedom of speech does not mean, I have to say “I agree” to everything you say or that we cannot disagree.
And freedom of speech does not mean people cannot tell you to “Shut up”, and in the end it is all left to you to either shut up or keep talking it is your freedom after all.
Freedom of speech is not an absolute right after all…