Commonwealth Policy Center
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Japan is cracking down on online insults. It’s now against the law to post insults online. Those found in violation will face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2200. We all know that people don’t always think before they post their comments. In fact, social media can be downright toxic, But is punishing people for offensive comments the answer? In the U.S., we value free speech to the degree that we tolerate offensive comments. It doesn’t mean that offensive comments are acceptable or contribute to a healthy society. They don’t. What’s concerning to First Amendment advocates is the alternative of a heavy-handed government occupying itself with speech code enforcement. And in our nation, tolerating controversial comments is the price we pay for the freedom of speech.