If we're serious about freedom of speech, we need a more open and respectful discussion about words that cause insult and offence.
Defamation law poses a considerable threat to freedom of speech in Australia, especially where social media is concerned.
The 'good old days' when we could make racist comments without legal recourse were not that good at all – especially for those on the receiving end.
While the debate around Section 18C has raged, a host of other laws that impinge on freedom of speech have been quietly introduced.
The Australian media are all for free speech – until it clashes with their politics.
The concept of 'free speech' is devilishly difficult, and depends greatly on a person's political and philosophical viewpoint.