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What are examples of freedom of speech?

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Quick Answer

Examples of freedom of speech, protected by the First Amendment, include the right to voice political criticisms, the right to speak out against the government, the right to protest on school grounds or within the community and the right to refuse to salute or burn the U.S. flag. Freedom of speech allows individuals the right to not speak and to use offensive phrases or words.

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Full Answer

With some restrictions as set forth by the First Amendment, additional examples of freedom of speech include contributing money to local, state and federal political campaigns and the right to advertise products and services. Symbolic speech, such as holding signs of criticisms during a protest, burning books or flags and wearing black armbands in protest of war are also examples of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech does not permit individuals to solicit or advertise illegal products or drugs, distribute and create obscene materials and use speech that would inflict harm in a crowd, such as shouting that a fire exists when it doesn't. On school grounds, additional restrictions apply, such as the right to use obscene speech in the classroom or during a speech and printing stories or photos in a high school newspaper when objections from administration exist.

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