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The Issues of Hate Speech and Harmful Speech

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Hate speech is an open expression of prejudice against a susceptible group based on gender, sexual orientation, race, disability and so on. Characterizing a crime with consistency, clarity and certainty has always been a subjective practice and only the court should be designed to perform. Hate speech limitation has become a way of addressing issues about incitement or intimidation. There is no consistency in hate speech laws across the world. Britain bans harming, irritating, and incapacitating speech. Denmark and Canada blacklist speech that is irritating and debasing. India and Israel blacklist talk that insults and incites racial and religious disdain. In Holland, it is a criminal offense deliberately to attack a particular social affair. Australia forbids talk that aggravates attacks, mortifies, or panics individuals or social occasions.

Even though we should condemn hate speech, this ought not to be used as a means to deny people the chance to express themselves freely. J.S.Mill have views on free speech states that however immoral a doctrine may be there ought to exist the liberty of discussing and professing that doctrine and the only instance a person can denied the power to excise his power of speech is when his or her speech is intended to harm others. Every society should have the right to free speech. Free speech helps us to consider the truth when we believe a false belief about something and the view at that issue is true. In addition free speech helps us to grasp a true belief in regard to an issue at hand and the view of that issue is not true. The only way to be able to believe that something might be true or false is hold a discussion the issues. Therefore to exclude this discussion is to prevent people from believing the truth. a discussion helps us consider other peoples view and this assists us to adjust our confidence in regard to the views we hold. Free speech is one of the many rights enjoyed by a democratic nation. It should not be restricted in compelling, extreme circumstances. Furthermore criminalizing views that are offensive and objectionable is the slippery path to bowdlerization and the censorship of the door to open debate. It risks preventing the real solution to hate speech which is mass education and open debates. Therefore hate speech should be challenged and protested not criminalized.

Harmful speech should be restricted. Harm occurs when we get hurt, our wellbeing are perturbed, offended and when our opinions are drastically limited. Any speech that may lead to lowered self esteem, increase the risk of discrimination and violence or thwart the interests of others may be considered as hate speech. But then many things may lead to loss of self esteem and thus blaming speech for loss of self esteem may be subjective and biased. In addition if someone practices discrimination and violence, we ought to punish these acts. Hate speech is an act of expression of hate and mere hateful views should not be criminalized. The most effective way of curbing hate speech is through education of the public of the effects of hate speech.

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The Issues of Hate Speech and Harmful Speech. (2018, September 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from
“The Issues of Hate Speech and Harmful Speech.” GradesFixer, 17 Sept. 2018,
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