https://www.coe.int/en/web/european-commission-against-racism-and-intolerance/hate-speech-and-violenceHate speech covers many forms of expressions which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred, violence and discrimination against a person or group of persons for a variety of reasons.
There have been several studies that link online hate speech as defined above to actual real world violence.
https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2018/01/12/in-germany-online-hate-speech-has-real-world-consequencesIN AUGUST 2015 Heiko Maas, Germany’s justice minister, wrote an open letter to Facebook demanding better enforcement of the country’s laws against slander, defamation and hate speech. “The internet is not a lawless space where racist abuse and illegal posts can be allowed to flourish,” he told the social-networking giant.
It's becoming more and more obvious that those who persistently spout hate speech in online fora such as this one will potentially act on their threats.
What is also becoming obvious is that governments and law enforcement agencies are now taking these online threats much more seriously, and that they not only are willing to prosecute the poster, but also the site itself for giving them a platform.
The "freedom of speech" argument just doesn't carry much water anymore when it comes to online threats.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/22/hate-speech-violence-liberals-rightwing-extremistsFreedom of speech is no longer a value. It has become a loophole exploited with impunity by trolls, racists and ethnic cleansing advocates. They are aided by the group I call useful liberals – the “defend to the death your right to say it” folk.
Here's is an interesting article from five years ago by an Irish barrister. In it he clearly states:
http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/social-media-anonymity-trolls-1027933-Aug2013/Abuse, where targeted and repeated, is also a crime. Incitement to hatred is a crime. Defamation, though not a crime, is legal wrongdoing. But crude jokes, personal insults and even the most tasteless and outrageous statements are words, not actions.
In Ireland, the crime of online hate speech is normally prosecuted under the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 and under the Equality Act, however there are further avenues available to the victims under civil law.
I'd like to see what the parish thinks regarding all of this.
Are we headed in the right direction when it comes to striking a balance between freedom of speech versus hate speech?
Is it justified to enjoin a website for allowing hatespeech to go on without sanction?
Have you yourself witnessed online hatespeech?...been a victim of it?