Jonathan Turley has a new op-ed that gives four categories of speech that western governments are increasingly using as grounds for limiting it: speech that it is blasphemous, hateful, discriminatory, and deceitful.
He says that this is further evidence of a dangerous trend.
Such efforts focus not on the right to speak but on the possible reaction to speech — a fundamental change in the treatment of free speech in the West. The much-misconstrued statement of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes that free speech does not give you the right to shout fire in a crowded theater is now being used to curtail speech that might provoke a violence-prone minority. Our entire society is being treated as a crowded theater, and talking about whole subjects is now akin to shouting “fire!”
The very right that laid the foundation for Western civilization is increasingly viewed as a nuisance, if not a threat. Whether speech is deemed imflammatory [sic] or hateful or discriminatory or simply false, society is denying speech rights in the name of tolerance, enforcing mutual respect through categorical censorship.
As in a troubled marriage, the West seems to be falling out of love with free speech.
It is a good article, worth reading in full.
In the US, it is now frowned upon when people use racist, sexist, or homophobic slurs or try to rile up people along sectarian lines. Not that such things never occur but those who use such language are seen as clearly beyond the pale of civilized society. And this was achieved without censorship. When we try to ban or censor speech, all we end up doing is making First Amendment martyrs out of the very people we despise for using hateful speech, people like Pamela Geller with her anti-Muslim subway posters or the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church.