How free should Free Speech be?

All the drama with Roy Ngerng, Amos Yee and TRS has got me thinking about ‘Free Speech’…

What is it really?

Is the idea of ‘free speech’ as free as we really think it is?

All of us have a varying tolerance when it comes to the views of others; and how much they should be allowed to say as part of the idea of ‘free speech’. Some questions that we should be asking even before we start debating whether or not some people should be sued, or websites shut down.

Does ‘free’ absolve one of the responsibilities of his/her words?
Does ‘free’ give people the right to spread untruths?
Does ‘free’ mean ignoring the consequences of our words on others?

Some say ‘free speech’ is a right; it is embedded in our constitution. I agree, it is a right, but which definition of ‘free’ does this right follow? As we exercise our ‘right’ to ‘free speech’ are we infringing on other rights of others?

All of us have varying definitions of the word ‘free’, but what should society’s definition of ‘free’ be?