Freedom Of Speech Vs Hate Speech

Topics: Hate speech, Human rights, Freedom of speech, Abuse, Universal Declaration of Human Rights / Pages: 3 (717 words) / Published: Apr 30th, 2016
George Washington once proclaimed that “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter”-while many of us would not argue the right to freedom of speech we may start to question just how boundless freedom should really be. Throughout history, it has often been proven that words have the ability to translate into violent and often fatal actions, yet we continue to accept these actions in the name of free speech. Lawmakers continue to debate over the boundaries regarding freedom of speech and whether limitations would forward or suppress our supposedly dignified and civilized society. Humans seem to be sensitive species as social media comments, political speeches and satirical statements continue to spark controversy and dominate news headlines. Hate speech does not only put our community harmony at risk but also encourages violence as it interferes with other basic human rights to a safe and tolerant environment.

A key issue regarding this debate is the fact that the definition of hate speech is often unclear. By law, hate speech is defined as any biased or prejudice speech that causes the listener to react violently or encourages
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It is argued that the elimination of hate speech is justified in order to treat others with dignity and fairness as tolerance, acceptance and safety are just as important in a healthy, well-balanced society. Activists working against the practice of hate speech believes that no rights are absolute and that restrictions must be enforced to serve the needs of society first and foremost. The British Lord and political theorist Bhikhu Parekh writes: “Although free speech is an important value, it is not the only one. Human dignity, equality, freedom to live without harassment and intimidation, social harmony and mutual respect...deserve

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