Hate speech law and policy

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Hate speech is a term normally used to cover forms of expression aimed at persecuting people by vilifying their racial, ethnic, or other identities. In the extreme, hate speech has promoted violence and genocide. While the term is always used pejoratively and implies a moral breach, not all hate speech is dangerous enough to merit government regulation. The central law and policy debate over hate speech is where to draw the line between expression that is merely morally objectionable and expression which should be legally impermissible. Hate speech often brings two rights into conflict – equality, including the right to be protected from discrimination, and freedom of expression. Digital communication has compounded the problem. It spreads messages beyond the intended audience and contexts, with unpredictable consequences. Online hate speech also raises jurisdictional conundrums, given the lack of international consensus on laws and norms, including over the liability of global internet intermediaries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe international encyclopedia of digital communication and society
Place of PublicationChichester
PublisherWiley-VCH Verlag
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781118290743
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

User-Defined Keywords

  • comparative global media law
  • diversity
  • freedom of expression
  • hate speech
  • media law and policy
  • multiculturalism


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