What is 'Hate Speech'?

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I am sure this topic has come up before, now let's try it again.

What is hate speech? I do not think I need to ask any more than that, I am curious what everyone thinks it is.

It's the criminalization of words and thoughts (instead of actions) through a nebulous and vague double-standard framework that is itself based on watered downed ad hominem labels turned political insults. It disguises itself as something virtuous and Good that only evil people would be against.

In a nutshell, it makes it easier for one political side to clamp down and criminalize the other by outlawing non-PC critique and concerns.

Vendor-Lazarus:

In a nutshell, it makes it easier for one political side to clamp down and criminalize the other by outlawing non-PC critique and concerns.

That's certainly the current strategy of the Republican party alright.

Personally, any words that are used as slurs, particularly if its trying to just insult someone out of the conversation. Even racist and Nazi I would put under there. They have become terms that are so ubiquitous that their useless.

Unfortunately, free speech doesn't lead to actual free speech. Whether a government should be involved to sort it out is a totally different thing. I don't like interference. But then I understand the pointlessness of having a conversation with someone who delights in insulting you.

In my opinion it should be kept separate from discrimination and slander/libel. Slander can come pretty close - insulting thoughts made public in order to undermine or hurt someone, but the point is that can be narrowed down to one person (or a few people at most) being the victim(s) of said slander. Hate speech must convey a more generalized threat to a group of people. Intent is important, of course, like if somebody is being politically incorrect that might be something worth looking into, but the harm and intent have to be demonstrated.

To me hate speech is any speech that is willfully ignorant, emotionally and angrily charged and either demands violence directly or indirectly encourages it. Speech used to intimidate or incite basically. Being ignorant is one thing, being deliberately ignorant and encouraging others to do so to support a narrative that logically leads to violence against certain groups is another.

The tricky thing of course is that it's impossible to tell who's doing it sincerely and someone doing just to 'kek, troll the liberalz' and it's hard to tell who's really talking from hate and who's just an idiot who doesn't know better. That's kind of the point and while I do think that does make enforcing hate speech laws really hard I also think that hate groups, when they aren't larping around in the world's saddest Nazi cosplay, have very effectively exploited the internet's general hostility towards 'SJWs' and have figured out how to play around with the discourse and know how to alter their hateful speech to just barely fit in the realm of 'acceptable discourse' all while being able to playfully wink at the groups they target and intimidate them. And of course any attempt to point this out gets dismissed by simply calling the accuser 'triggered libtardz' and everyone just laughs along.

So I don't really have an answer to how to solve hate speech, only to suggest that maybe we should be more mindful of the subtext of what people are saying and while obviously you shouldn't just believe blindly any accusation of hate speech, maybe people who always say 'let's not jump to conclusions' when a bunch of guys with Nazi flags are accused of attacking brown people, should also use that open mindedness to not just assume everyone calling out people like Richard Spencer are just liberal cucked snowflakes who were triggered.

Vendor-Lazarus:
It's the criminalization of words and thoughts (instead of actions)...

Beyond ridiculous.

Obviously you must commit some sort of action (of communication) to offend. Telepathy doesn't exist for us to detect and criminalise thoughts.

...through a nebulous and vague double-standard framework that is itself based on watered downed ad hominem labels turned political insults.

There's undoubtedly some grey area or unknowns - there is for many crimes such as defamation or fraud.

However, broadly, I think you'll find that there are fairly clear parameters for what constitutes hate speech in any jurisdiction that has had hate speech laws for more than a few years, formed by the letter of the law and precedent.

"Hate speech" is a political buzzword used to shut down disagreement against a "politically correct" narrative.

As is "harassment", now that I think of it. "Progressive" snowflakes like OP have completely ruined any value the terms might have had through extreme overuse.

American Tanker:
"Hate speech" is a political buzzword used to shut down disagreement against a "politically correct" narrative.

As is "harassment", now that I think of it. "Progressive" snowflakes like OP have completely ruined any value the terms might have had through extreme overuse.

You mean like how the word snowflake got piledrived into the ground via overuse?

OT: speech designed to harass and attack certain groups. Despite all the hysteria around it, it's pitifully easy to pick out.

American Tanker:
"Hate speech" is a political buzzword used to shut down disagreement against a "politically correct" narrative.

As is "harassment", now that I think of it. "Progressive" snowflakes like OP have completely ruined any value the terms might have had through extreme overuse.

... It is truly amazing that in the middle of bashing an idea, you used the same idea without a hint of irony.

Hate speech is speech directed against other people (often groups of people) that is so utterly vile and worthless that not even free speech crusaders think it warrants defending.

Well, I really didn't expect Saelune to make a thread about defining "Hate Speech".

OT: I consider it when it has one (or both) of these goals:

1. To send a message that's offensive (or even threatening) towards minorities (specially when the later have no say in how to answer to the message).

2. To send a message that encourages negative action from other hateful people towards the targeted minorities.

There are people more experienced than me in identifying these effects tho.

CaitSeith:
Well, I really didn't expect Saelune to make a thread about defining "Hate Speech".

OT: I consider it when it has one (or both) of these goals:

1. To send a message that's offensive (or even threatening) towards minorities (specially when the later have no say in how to answer to the message).

2. To send a message that encourages negative action from other hateful people towards the targeted minorities.

There are people more experienced than me in identifying these effects tho.

I'd mostly agree with this except I'd drop the offensive part. Hate speech is generally considered a crime, and we don't want to set the rule of offending someone being punishable by law.
Also I'd add 'especially towards minorities' as you can commit hate speech against a majority. power dynamics don't enter into it, its just the base words and thoughts used.
If i said something like 'damn cracker-ass whiteies, always fucking shit up, world would be better if we just got rid of them all' that'd be hate speech as its calling for whites to be eliminated, even if white people are the majority in the nation.
Likewise if I said 'boy, black people have weird gums huh?' that's not hate speech. Its certainly offensive and racists, but is it a crime? I don't think it should qualify. Being racist is one thing, hate speech is another.

CaitSeith:
Well, I really didn't expect Saelune to make a thread about defining "Hate Speech".

OT: I consider it when it has one (or both) of these goals:

1. To send a message that's offensive (or even threatening) towards minorities (specially when the later have no say in how to answer to the message).

2. To send a message that encourages negative action from other hateful people towards the targeted minorities.

There are people more experienced than me in identifying these effects tho.

Minority of the neighborhood, city, state, country or minority of the world? Is preaching how Asians(Chinese) ruined the city in Vancouver considered hate speech?

Silentpony:
power dynamics don't enter into it

Au contraire, mon ami. Power dynamics is the reason that hate speech is unlawful (because the targets have much less power to deal with its concecuences). Without the context, it becomes just nonsensical babling.

Do you want to nitpick the "offensive" part? Fine. I grant it wasn't much of a good word choice. I just couldn't find the right one for not being openly threatening but still menacing enough to create a build sense of unease/impotence on the targets. But as I said, there is better people than me that can point out those details more accurately.

Language used by someone to dehumanize someone usually out of fear, bigotry, or a sense of superiority over that person.

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:
power dynamics don't enter into it

Au contraire, mon ami. Power dynamics is the reason that hate speech is unlawful (because the targets have much less power to deal with its concecuences). Without the context, it becomes just nonsensical babling.

Do you want to nitpick the "offensive" part? Fine. I grant it wasn't much of a good word choice. I just couldn't find the right one for not being openly threatening but still menacing enough to create a build sense of unease/impotence on the targets. But as I said, there is better people than me that can point out those details more accurately.

But if we allow that a power dynamic is required for hatespeech to be unlawful, how do we determine that? Do we go by historical dynamics, regional, national, world wide or IRL individual power dynamics? Like President Obama has WAY more power even out of office than you and I ever will. Does that mean we can't commit hate speech against him? Or is the fact he's black and I'm white enough to not only protect him from committing hate speech but automatically trigger unlawful activity by me?
Context is important yes, but the problem with that is that every situation is so individual with unique context that phrases like Power Dynamics have to be individually determined for every case, rendering the idea of a power dynamic meaningless when defining hate speech.
An individual saying something racist on Wednesday to his boss gets a laugh. That same individual saying the exact same thing to a random grocery store clerk gets arrested. What was said doesn't really matter, nor who said it. What matters is who it was said to, meaning every relationship between every single person in the world has a different dynamic.

Also I'd push back on unease/impotence. I don't like people making others feel uncomfortable, but being comfortable isn't a right, and not caring about someone else's comfort shouldn't be a crime.

Hatespeech is speech which is either deliberately intended to stir up hatred or cause psychological distress, fear and/or harm to people on the basis of a protected category. In a few very extreme cases, it can also apply to speech which isn't directly intended in this way, but is extremely likely to do so, but in general the above is an acceptable definition.

Silentpony:
An individual saying something racist on Wednesday to his boss gets a laugh. That same individual saying the exact same thing to a random grocery store clerk gets arrested. What was said doesn't really matter, nor who said it. What matters is who it was said to, meaning every relationship between every single person in the world has a different dynamic.

Literally everything you said here is wrong.

Firstly, it doesn't matter how someone reacts to what you say. It matters what your intent in saying it is perceived to be. If it is clear that you are attempting to threaten or insult your boss by saying a racist thing to them, then that's an offence against public order whether you succeed or not.

You are not allowed to just go up to people and start insulting or swearing at them or trying to threaten them. That is also a public order offence (albeit a very minor one) and they can call the police. In either case, unless this is something you do a lot or you refuse to calm down and leave, it's unlikely you will be arrested.

It doesn't matter what your relationship is to anyone. It matters what your intent is in your dealings with them. Like, let's say you're talking to someone and you suddenly start going off about how much you hate gay people and wish they would all die. It turns out the person you were talking to was gay, but you didn't know. In this case, you are not guilty of an offence, despite having potentially caused considerable distress to the person you were talking to, because that was not your intent.

If, having found out they are gay, you then wait on their way to work and jump out at them and start screaming at them, then you've moved into committing a public order offence.

ObsidianJones:

American Tanker:
"Hate speech" is a political buzzword used to shut down disagreement against a "politically correct" narrative.

As is "harassment", now that I think of it. "Progressive" snowflakes like OP have completely ruined any value the terms might have had through extreme overuse.

... It is truly amazing that in the middle of bashing an idea, you used the same idea without a hint of irony.

Jordan Peterson and Sargon literally built careers off this. Why wouldn't it work here?

evilthecat:
Hatespeech is speech which is either deliberately intended to stir up hatred or cause psychological distress, fear and/or harm to people on the basis of a protected category. In a few very extreme cases, it can also apply to speech which isn't directly intended in this way, but is extremely likely to do so, but in general the above is an acceptable definition.

Silentpony:
An individual saying something racist on Wednesday to his boss gets a laugh. That same individual saying the exact same thing to a random grocery store clerk gets arrested. What was said doesn't really matter, nor who said it. What matters is who it was said to, meaning every relationship between every single person in the world has a different dynamic.

Literally everything you said here is wrong.

Firstly, it doesn't matter how someone reacts to what you say. It matters what your intent in saying it is perceived to be. If it is clear that you are attempting to threaten or insult your boss by saying a racist thing to them, then that's an offence against public order whether you succeed or not.

You are not allowed to just go up to people and start insulting or swearing at them or trying to threaten them. That is also a public order offence (albeit a very minor one) and they can call the police. In either case, unless this is something you do a lot or you refuse to calm down and leave, it's unlikely you will be arrested.

It doesn't matter what your relationship is to anyone. It matters what your intent is in your dealings with them. Like, let's say you're talking to someone and you suddenly start going off about how much you hate gay people and wish they would all die. It turns out the person you were talking to was gay, but you didn't know. In this case, you are not guilty of an offence, despite having potentially caused considerable distress to the person you were talking to, because that was not your intent.

If, having found out they are gay, you then wait on their way to work and jump out at them and start screaming at them, then you've moved into committing a public order offence.

We really have to start talking about jurisdictions here. Because in many jurisdictions, actual intent may not in fact matter and the test can be whether it demeans or is reasonably likely to offend. Although intent can also be relevant and can be the basis of a conviction, you can also get in trouble if you did not intend to offend. Certainly this is true of many Commonwealth jurisdictions, I'm not sure about the US.

The example you used would be a contravention of hate speech laws in the UK on the basis that having regard to all the circumstances hatred is likely to be stirred up (Public Order Act 1986 s18)

Silentpony:
snip

The power dynamics are important, not because of the hate speech itself; but because of the incidents and effects that according to precedents, antecedents and history have happened when it's left unchecked. You're portraying it as a 1-to-1 interaction, when hate speech is more than just talk.

Comfort isn't a right, but personal security is.

Blood Brain Barrier:
The example you used would be a contravention of hate speech laws in the UK on the basis that having regard to all the circumstances hatred is likely to be stirred up (Public Order Act 1986 s18)

I live in the UK, and I am literally citing the UK definition of hate speech.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64

A person who is not shown to have intended to stir up racial hatred is not guilty of an offence under this section if he did not intend his words or behaviour, or the written material, to be, and was not aware that it might be, threatening, abusive or insulting.

A concept that doesn't really exist in my nation's laws, which is something I'm very great for. Along with the absence of criminal defamation (relegating it to a tort and only as such).

evilthecat:

Blood Brain Barrier:
The example you used would be a contravention of hate speech laws in the UK on the basis that having regard to all the circumstances hatred is likely to be stirred up (Public Order Act 1986 s18)

I live in the UK, and I am literally citing the UK definition of hate speech.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64

A person who is not shown to have intended to stir up racial hatred is not guilty of an offence under this section if he did not intend his words or behaviour, or the written material, to be, and was not aware that it might be, threatening, abusive or insulting.

And you don't think someone who talks in public about how much they hate gay people and wishes they would all die would be aware those words might be threatening, abusive or insulting?

Blood Brain Barrier:
And you don't think someone who talks in public about how much they hate gay people and wishes they would all die would be aware those words might be threatening, abusive or insulting?

I think you'd have to reach pretty hard to claim it was stirring up hatred.

The criminalisation of incitement to hatred is one of the extreme circumstances I talked about because it implies something a little more than just being insulting or offensive to a single person. Stirring up hatred is also distinct from stirring up tension. Making a youtube video claiming that there is a Jewish conspiracy trying to bring down Western culture from within, for example, is different from standing in the street with a megaphone screaming "gas the k***s, race war now!"

It's a relatively extreme circumstance, hence why it requires the permission of the attorney general to bring a case of incitement to hatred to court.

CaitSeith:
Well, I really didn't expect Saelune to make a thread about defining "Hate Speech".

Why is this surprising? There clearly are many things that many people have wildly different definitions of and it makes a lot of things more complicated because of it. Sometimes it is best to clearly define something to better argue the merits of it.

CM156:
A concept that doesn't really exist in my nation's laws, which is something I'm very great for. Along with the absence of criminal defamation (relegating it to a tort and only as such).

I know I may be jumping to conclusion here, but perhaps there's a correlation between this and murder rates?

To me its like art or porn, hard to describe but I know it when I see it.

Speech that encourages violence(kill all _____), tries to justify past violence (____ was right/ i wish ____ had killed you all) or perpetuates conspiracies directed against a group of people (____ control the economy/ _____ want to replace us). Conspiracy theories are also largely hate speech. Theories like the stab in the back, the new world order and the great replacement encourage violence against certain group by trying to frame them as the agressor in order to justify the rethoric of "we have to get them before they get us"

CaitSeith:
Well, I really didn't expect Saelune to make a thread about defining "Hate Speech".

OT: I consider it when it has one (or both) of these goals:

1. To send a message that's offensive (or even threatening) towards minorities (specially when the later have no say in how to answer to the message).

2. To send a message that encourages negative action from other hateful people towards the targeted minorities.

There are people more experienced than me in identifying these effects tho.

May I ask why you ask such a question about Saelune trying to define hate speech? Just curious.

Hate speech is speech which has the sole purpose of expressing hatred, causing distress, or threatening violence towards somebody on the basis of their innate characteristics or demographics.

It contributes nothing of any value to discourse whatsoever, and only debases the state of conversation. This is why I'm fine with moderation of hate speech.

Silvanus:
Hate speech is speech which has the sole purpose of expressing hatred, causing distress, or threatening violence towards somebody on the basis of their innate characteristics or demographics.

It contributes nothing of any value to discourse whatsoever, and only debases the state of conversation. This is why I'm fine with moderation of hate speech.

I think your missing the whole point of hate speech. Making sure the other person is lessened. Thus they can be ignored. Why talk about discussion points when you can insult yourself to a win

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:
snip

The power dynamics are important, not because of the hate speech itself; but because of the incidents and effects that according to precedents, antecedents and history have happened when it's left unchecked. You're portraying it as a 1-to-1 interaction, when hate speech is more than just talk.

Comfort isn't a right, but personal security is.

but then to my larger point, what dynamic? Historical? All history, including European and early modern human? In that light the African slave trade is 200 vs tens of thousands of years of African history. Or do we do national history, in which case I'm Spanish because both my parents are Spanish nationals, or does the fact I was born in America give me that power dynamic? Or do we do state dynamic, in which case fuck Illinois? Or city? County? House? Personal?

See my point? Every single person in this world is differently empowered compared to everyone else, making the idea of drawing 'power dynamics' meaningless. I'll give you an example. Bill is from the UK. Sally is from China. Bill says Chinese food sucks. Who has the power in that situation? Reverse it. Sally says British food sucks. Does the power change? Does who said what change the power dynamic?
Was it a hate crime when Bill said it? What if he knew Sally was from China, hate crime then? What if Sally didn't know Bill was British, hate crime then? What if Bill is Sally's boss? What if Sally is the PM of China? How does that change power dynamics? What if Bill is from the year 2138 and Sally died in 712, how does that change the dialogue?

That's the point. Power dynamics are meaningless because it is a 1-to-1 ratio.

Silentpony:

Was it a hate crime when Bill said it? What if he knew Sally was from China, hate crime then? What if Sally didn't know Bill was British, hate crime then? What if Bill is Sally's boss? What if Sally is the PM of China? How does that change power dynamics? What if Bill is from the year 2138 and Sally died in 712, how does that change the dialogue?

That's the point. Power dynamics are meaningless because it is a 1-to-1 ratio.

That's not how bias crime laws in the UK work.

Once again, hate speech, or more accurately to say all bias crime legislation, depends on the country you're in.

Nations and individual statesand provinces more often either use blanket bans on targeting individuals solely on the basis of their race/sexual preferece/gender identity/etc and consider more egregious actions of people if motivated to violence (or its own incitement) on the grounds the target belongs to a group that is typically made the target of such crimes to a higher degree than the body politic at large.

People who are routinely beaten, murdered or villified regardless of the content of their character, but irrespective of it, solely because of their perceptible membership for which they have no right or reason to surrender have greater legitimacy to feeling that fear for which bias crime evokes precisely because they are routinely made targets of bias crime to a greater extent.

In essence, killing someone for money has reasonable (if heinous) dimensions. Killing someone for being LGBTQ does (should) not be considered at all reasonable. It should either be examined through the lens akin to terrorism, or simply viciousness beyond reason. So, the argument goes, that a body politic cannot be fulfilling peoples right to life and deserving of common security and civility if it does not treat such actions as particularly vile given there is a hierarchy of rights.

The reasoning is predicated on the idea that the same crime, done for particularly egregious reasons, deserves a harsher penalty.

Inciting hatred or violence towards an individual, regardless of hate speeh laws, is already criminalized in dare I say most nations already(?). Treating bias crime as particularly heinous comes down to the values predicated by a body politic about how much the motivations of crime matter.

The motivations of saying; "I'm not in the mood for Chinese food..." is not bias crime.

After all, some bias crime spiel about LGBTQ people actively incites fear in that group. Targeted not for their actions but simply who they are ... and it comes down to whether a nation or province/state feels that is particularly egregious or not in comparison to merely inciting violence or hatreds on its own.

Silentpony:

but then to my larger point, what dynamic? Historical? All history, including European and early modern human? In that light the African slave trade is 200 vs tens of thousands of years of African history. Or do we do national history, in which case I'm Spanish because both my parents are Spanish nationals, or does the fact I was born in America give me that power dynamic? Or do we do state dynamic, in which case fuck Illinois? Or city? County? House? Personal?

As with anything, this is intuited from context. Trying to come up with a particular year, or a standard which uniformly works in all cases, is an exercise in pointlessness, and isn't necessary in the slightest.

Silentpony:

See my point? Every single person in this world is differently empowered compared to everyone else, making the idea of drawing 'power dynamics' meaningless. I'll give you an example. Bill is from the UK. Sally is from China. Bill says Chinese food sucks. Who has the power in that situation? Reverse it. Sally says British food sucks. Does the power change? Does who said what change the power dynamic?
Was it a hate crime when Bill said it? What if he knew Sally was from China, hate crime then? What if Sally didn't know Bill was British, hate crime then? What if Bill is Sally's boss? What if Sally is the PM of China? How does that change power dynamics? What if Bill is from the year 2138 and Sally died in 712, how does that change the dialogue?

That's the point. Power dynamics are meaningless because it is a 1-to-1 ratio.

Context, context, context. None of this really indicates anything other than that we can dream up ludicrous (nonexistent) hypotheticals.

Law does not require us to come up with a single, unbreakable and objective standard by which all cases-- regardless of context-- can be judged. The rule of law would collapse if that were the case. We rely instead on the interpretation of well-versed people in the field, who judge cases individually, and take context into account-- and then consider the intent and spirit of the law alongside the lettering.

The notion that power dynamics are "meaningless" just because we cannot come up with a single standard by which to file a bunch of ridiculous scenarios doesn't make a single lick of sense, and ignores how law actually functions in the real world.

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