US Freedom of Speech: Facts and Fallacies

US Freedom of Speech: Facts and Fallacies

Critical analysis of the US domestic politics, economy, society and governance clearly demonstrates that it is not a champion of freedom of speech. Its national history is decorated with shameful deeds, double standards, manipulated justice, ethnic divide and compromised social justice towards minorities.

The US national narrative of an ideal place for freedom of speech seems to be an empty political slogan and hypocritical moral mask. Frankly speaking, different stakeholders and parties use to fight over free speech, press interference which threatens free speech, and social media violates free speech.

Ironically, the US has been trying to replicate its domestic model of so-called freedom of speech at international stage by violating basic principles of modern democracy with hegemonic means, destroying international public opinion environment with sponsored smear campaigns, and deluding the international community with self-glorified and self-gratification images and high-sounding rhetoric.



The US high claims of freedom of speech as the foundation of the country contradicts its socio-economic and political persuasions. It is a bitter reality that most of its domestic policies towards Africans Americans and other minorities are undemocratic and anti-freedom of speech. It has become a pure elitist society which only cares about capitalism. Thus Statute of Liberty is falling and the US Constitution’s article pertaining to freedom of speech has lost in real essence.

Dangerous political and social trends and tendencies are damaging the basic social fabric of the US which has also been verified by the various reports published by the Knight Foundation (2020), US State Free Speech Institute (2022), The Cato Institute report (2021), Stanford University (2022), The Brookings Institution (2021), New York Times (2022) and Time Weekly, CBS (2020) all indicate chronic falls and faulty lines in the US civilian government and military establishment, suppressing the holy doctrine of freedom of speech through numerous means in the country and aboard.

The research studies, reports and surveys of different newspapers also confirm declining status of freedom of speech in the US which has racial, ethnic, social, political and even religious domains, killing the true spirits of its constitution and democracy.

Unfortunately, many African Americans, Muslims, and other minorities have been in the line of fire because of inhumane and discriminatory policies of the various states in the US. Women, elderly and youth have lost their trust in doctrine of freedom of speech which has been further eroded by the increasing political divide in the so-called land of dreams. Thus talks on national politics and important national policies have become no-go area.

Moreover, the outburst of false, fake and fabricated information has severely damaged the real essence of free speech. The ongoing political battle in the form of  presidential elections show increasing indifferences in the US society encouraging political violence and lack of tolerance due to which minorities are more susceptible to disinformation and the African American community is the target.

Even, the US government manipulates epidemic information and suppresses truth-telling voices and the whistle blowers. The judicial system is the prime example of racial discrimination and this is evidenced by the fact that Justice Earls is the only African American woman justice on North Carolina’s Supreme Court which shows US double standards.

US government has been cracking down on social media especially TikTok which seriously impact free speech in digital domain, and is a violation of the rights of American people according to the First Amendment. Press intervention, denial of access to information and media discrimination has become hallmark of the US governance and society alike.

According to the US Freedom of the Press Tracker, there were 128 incidents of press freedom violations across the US in 2022, including 40 attacks on journalists and 15 arrests or prosecutions. In 2023, at least 12 journalists in the United States were arrested or charged, and several were criminally convicted for normal news reporting.

Between January 2021 and February 2022, Republican lawmakers introduced more than 150 state-level laws that restrict teachers from discussing issues like race and social justice in the classroom and also censor and track teachers` speech.

Interest groups, lobbyists and financial tycoons have holy alliance of snubbing free will and free speech of general masses and manipulating public opinion. The United States also uses social media to launch psychological warfare, along with military operations in other countries, and suppress all kinds of anti-war rhetoric.

It uses freedom of speech to practice double standards, creates a smokescreen and  claim that the rest of the world is spreading “false information,” while it publishes various distorted and discredited reports based on false information, to divert the attention of the international community from misdeeds of the United States.

During the Cold War, the United States government established three media organizations, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, to carry out public opinion warfare and implement peaceful evolution. Its blunder in Iraq on the narrative of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Human Rights Violations and Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Cuba, and even China ultimately proved wrong.

The US military and its secret agencies have been misusing social media to manipulate topics and deceptive propaganda to influence other countries’ perceptions through espionage, covert operations, artificial intelligence means and spooning in Middle Eastern, Latin American and Central Asian countries.

Unlimited smearing campaigns against China, Russia and Iran through social media and other means confirms its double standards. The ban of Russian mainstream media such as RT TV and Sputnik News Agency vividly reflects its nonexistent media freedom.

Unfortunately, the united States under the guise of “freedom of speech,” viciously attack and smear China. Some US politicians have not only wantonly fabricated false statements such as hyping up “Chinese virus” and “Wuhan virus,” and other untrue remarks, but also attacked media reports that objectively reflected China’s fight against the pandemic.

The US pursues a double standard of freedom of speech in the Internet field, stigmatizing China as “digital authoritarianism.

The U.S. instigates color revolutions with the help of “freedom of speech in many Central Asian countries for so many years.

It supported and used the media to advocate Western democracy, to produce and disseminate negative news about local governments and leaders, and to help the opposition promote political rhetoric.

In summary, doctrine of freedom of speech in the United States has been eroded because of the self-centric policies of its various political governments, exploitative plans of its military establishment, money minting machines of its financial cronies and inhumane and discriminatory approach of its various organs towards minorities, provoking political divide and social violence against weaker factions of society mainly, Africans, and Muslims.

It’s constant but baseless smear and accuses other countries of spreading “disinformation hurt the true spirits of democracy and freedom of speech and busy in “cognitive warfare” throughout the world.

Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

Executive Director: The Center for South & International Studies (CSAIS) Islamabad

Regional Expert: China, CPEC & BRI

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