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“What happens to my freedom of speech?” I asked in frustration. Many moons ago, one of my posts was removed online. The admin told me that they did not approve the content I shared on their site, so they took it down. He also gave me an example that helped me understand better the freedom of speech: “Imagine you walked into someone's house and start talking nonsense. The owner has the right to usher you out.”

What is the First Amendment? “It’s an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, prohibiting Congress from interfering with freedom of religion, speech, assembly, or petition.” As citizens of the United States, we are blessed to have the law to protect us from oppression. However, freedom of speech does not mean you can say whatever you want. If you publicly spread baseless accusations toward someone, then the 1st Amendment cannot protect you. If your words cause a riot, disrupt peace, incite violence, cause deaths, then your speech is no longer protected under the law. You are now considered the mastermind of disruption of peace and order.

In short, do not use the First Amendment as a shield to protect anything you want to say. There are law and order in this country. Without them, its citizens would not be able to enjoy peace and happiness.

Crystal H. Vo

January 15, 2021

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