What is “hate speech”? It seems to be becoming a more common term around the place and I wanted to find a definition of it.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.”
Different countries apparently have different legal interpretations, but basically it is what it says – a public statement of hate for someone or something.
Does this include your personal opinion? Or does it only apply to those who belong to an organised group? Is there any difference between saying “I really hate Person A” to saying “Someone should shoot Person A”? It seems to be a very fine line between the two.
A lot of discussion is happening here at the moment because the government is looking at bringing in new legislation that, as it is presently written, would limit the expression of free speech.
We already have legislation that is designed to limit the active inciting of violence or hatred. We have laws against terrorism and racism and sexism and ageism, and even against political criticism.
|Who could hate the little Fantail? Yet, I know some people do.|
Who is to say whether they are right or wrong?
Who decides what is hatred, or even what is insulting? If you say something and it offends someone, will that make you a criminal? Seems ridiculous, but it could become that way. I would feel much happier if the government would clarify things a lot more than they currently are.
Freedom, including freedom of speech, is something we take so much for granted in our Western world, but is the pendulum starting to swing towards more control over individual liberties?
Sometimes I wonder, and worry, about the world we live in and where it is headed.
Stay safe everyone,