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Should Hate Speech Be Regulated?

1840 words - 8 pages

Imagine a person talking with a hand holding their tongue, it sounds pretty uncomfortable. Now, image a person having to do that every time talking to their friends, family members, or boyfriend/girlfriend. Holding their tongue would restrict them of what they could say and when they could say it. Believe it or not, this is a topic that has been tossed around from Supreme Court to everyday life. People have different opinions on how it should be regulated or if it should be regulated. It is hate speech. What exactly is hate speech? Hate speech is when a person uses words intentionally to hurt someone else; they can use hateful words based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation (dictionary.com).
Yet the origin of hate-speech laws has been largely forgotten. The divergence between the United States and European countries is of comparatively recent origin. In fact, the United States and the vast majority of European (and Western) states were originally opposed to the internationalization of hate-speech laws. European states and the U.S. shared the view that human rights should protect rather than limit freedom of expression. (Hoover Institution: Stanford University).

Even though many believe hate speech is designed to put down people, hate speech should not be regulated or restricted because it is virtually impossible to control tensions between people by preventing them from speaking their true opinions, without violating the First Amendment.
Hate speech is a very important topic, especially in the United States. Many do not know the thin line between criticisms and hate speech. One way criticism and hate speech differ is the intention of hate speech, if it was used purposely for “the stirring of hatred and hostility towards a particular group.”The way the speech is directed towards a person plays a huge role in hate speech; if the speech is directed in an insulting way or abusive way, it is qualified as hate speech. “Many of these laws bend over backwards to try to narrow down a particular range of damaging speech to the most egregious cases” (NPR Books).
Hate speech is close to impossible to completely control. There are so many definitions to hate speech that a uniform rule wouldn’t cover all of the definitions. What one person defines as hate speech could absolutely harmless to another person. On top of that, the internet has now provided others the opportunity to post status or comments, anonymously. This is shown in the site Ask.fm, where people can ask someone questions or make comments anonymously; when asked about the details of ask.fm, an ask.fm representative stated that, “No one monitors the content on Ask.fm. The website states, ‘the ask.fm service allows for anonymous content which ask.fm does not monitor’” (Younger Shannon). If there is no sure fire way to detect who was doing the hate speech itself, how would it be regulated? Furthermore, if a person were to post an anonymous blog about a certain topic that was found...

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