76% Say Free Speech Includes Right to Offend Others

Eighty-seven percent (87%) of voters believe freedom of speech is Very Important. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 76% believe that includes the right to say things that others find offensive.

The data also revealed a clear distinction between speech that can be restricted on private property and on government property.

Eighty-five percent (85%) of voters believe that privately owned stores and malls have the right to ban profanity and other offensive language on their property. Sixty-eight percent (68%) believe they have the right to ban or restrict political commentary on their land.

However, just 68% believe government officials have the right to ban profanity on government property–seventeen percentage points lower than the private property number. And, 60% say that government officials do NOT have have the right to ban political commentary and discussion on government property (see question wording and crosstab results).

The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted October 9-10, 2018 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.

All data presented by ScottRasmussen.com is to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us). Receive the latest insights each day by signing up for Scott Rasmussen’s Morning Update

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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