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Traditionally, the first amendment, like other provisions of the
Bill of Rights, has operated primarily as a negative force in maintaining
the system of freedom of expression. It has served to prevent
the government from prohibiting, harassing, or interfering
with speech or other forms of communication. On the other hand,
the first amendment has not been viewed as a significant factor in
efforts to promote freedom of expression or to impose limits on
governmental participation in the system.

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