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Free Speech Debate

Free Speech Debate (http://freespeechdebate.com/) is a global, multilingual website for the discussion of free speech in the age of mass migration and the internet. Ten draft principles for global free speech are laid out, together with explanations and case studies - all for debate. Prominent figures from diverse cultures, faiths and political tendencies are interviewed and asked to comment through video, audio and text. Individual users from across the world are strongly encouraged to take part in the online discussion. They can propose new case studies and suggest revised or entirely new principles. The project is programmatically dedicated to taking the free speech debate beyond the west and global north, into the east and south. The entire editorial content is carefully translated into 13 languages, covering more than 80% of the world's internet users, by native-speakers of those languages (mainly graduate students at Oxford University). Anyone can then contribute to the online discussion in these or any other widely used languages, and there is a facility to give a rough translation of every user-generated comment into most languages using machine translation. The website is actively moderated by, and the original content generated by, an international team at Oxford University, working under the leadership of Timothy Garton Ash. Free Speech Debate is a research project of the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom at St Antony's College.

Popular episodes

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Susan Benesch on dangerous speech

In this interview with Timothy Garton Ash, Susan Benesch, senior fellow at the World Policy Institute, makes a distinction between hate speech and dangerous speech.


28 Jun 2016

Rank #1

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Daniel Bell on Confucianism and free speech

Confucianism’s defence of political speech does not necessarily apply to other forms of expression, says Bell


16 Jun 2016

Rank #2

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Combining Freedom and Diversity: The Challenge of Religious Difference

Legal philosopher Martha Nussbaum gave the 2013 Dahrendorf Lecture, exploring how to live with religious diversity.


21 Jun 2013

Rank #3

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On Free Speech 4: The Power of the Web

Jillian York (Electronic Frontier Foundation) discusses the ethics and motivations behind hacktivism, and Lauren Wolfe talks about her new project Women Under Siege, a website that crowdsources instances of rape and sexual violence in war zones.


24 May 2012

Rank #4

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On Free Speech 3: The Fine Art of Activism

This month's podcast focuses on the sometimes fine line between artistic expression and free speech. It features interviews with filmmaker Nick Sturdee on the Russian art collective Voina, and stand-up comedian Tom Greeves on the UK's parody laws. The podcast also contains snippets of some of the best content on the Free Speech Debate website including a discussion on Islam with Irshad Manji, author of Allah, Liberty and Love, as well as with Rebecca MacKinnon, author of Consent of the Networked, on the need for netizens to take back control of the internet.


13 Apr 2012

Rank #5