Here is an interesting discussion about the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Part of the discussion surrounds the benefits of a society that enjoys freedom of speech and freedom of press. Of particular interest:
3. CREATING A MORE ADAPTABLE AND STABLE COMMUNITY (The “Safety Valve” Function). It is suggested that a society in which angry and alienated citizens are allowed to speak their mind–“vent”–will be more stable, as people will be less likely to resort to violence. It has also been pointed out that allowing the alienated and discontented to speak freely enables government to better monitor potentially dangerous groups who would otherwise act more clandestinely.
6. PROMOTING TOLERANCE. It has been argued that freedom of speech, especially through our practice of extending protection to speech that we find hateful or personally upsetting, teaches us to become more tolerant in other aspects of life–and that a more tolerant society is a better society.