Free speech is a value that is universally held throughout the developed world today, and democratic societies see it as the hallmark of a free and open political system.
With support as strong as it is for free speech, the burden of proof seems to rest on advocates of censorship to show why a particular idea should be suppressed.
The line between governmental censorship and non-governmental challenges is sometimes blurry, particularly when a private organization acts with implied governmental authority.
This is the case with self-regulated censorship: a private organization sets rules that regulate free expression within an industry, in exchange for which the government agrees to not get involved.
In a subsequent law suit brought by the Museum, public funding was restored.
The controversy surrounding Ofilis painting illustrates an ongoing tension between free speech and censorship, that is, a tension between the interest of people to openly express their views and the interest of others to suppress ideas that they find harmful or deeply offensive.
For example, a publisher might cancel a book contract because the project has generated too much controversy.
Opponents of a theatrical production might conduct media campaigns and boycotts against the financial backers of the production.
These types of non-governmental challenges are legally permissible, but others break the law, such as if one political group steals campaign signs or vandalizes billboard advertisements by its rival political group.
From the standpoint of free speech advocates, both governmental censorship and non-governmental challenges are unjustly intrusive and should not be practiced in a free society.