The truth about our free speech

Looks like Filipinos have always felt free to speak their minds over the last twenty years.

At least that's what the latest Social Weather Survey of the Social Weather Stations last June 22-26, 2019, found: 59% of Filipino adults agree and 18% disagree with the statement, "I can say anything I want, openly and without fear, even if it is against the administration." Twenty-three percent are undecided about the matter.

This gives a net agreement score (% agreeminus % disagree) of +41, classified by SWS as very strong. This is 18 points above the moderate +23 in December 2018.

The June 2019 survey also found that 51% agree, 29% are undecided, and 20% disagree with the statement, "It is dangerous to print or broadcast anything critical of the administration, even if it is the truth," for a strong net agreement of +31.

What does this all say?

For one, it shows that majority of people perceive that their freedoms of speech are not being stifled. This is s slap against those who want us all to believe that our freedoms are going to the dustbin. 

A good look at our computer screens and smartfones shows a cacophony of ideas and opinions being shared or commented upon. If anything, the freedom  of speech is exercised much more than before. 

To those who want us to think otherwise, perhaps what would be more accurate to say that their capability to influence opinions may no longer be  as powerful as they were. That their credibility as thought leaders has diminished. Just because they have lost command of the audience it does not mean that the freedoms of the audience are being destroyed.