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Hate Speech on the Internet

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posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 02:24 AM
There are many "hate speech" and "hate group" web sites on the Internet. Opinions presented on these web sites are often directed at people of another race, people of another religion, and homosexuals. Westboro Baptist Church is a prime example of what I am referring to.

There are also web sites dedicated to a "fringe" topics and opinions or beliefs. Content presented on these web sites are generally anything from being pro-war to pro-suicide, and in some cases, radically pro-population control. A Facebook group celebrating the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims by the Serbian army in 1995 is another example of what I am referring to.

These opinions and topics do anger people, and probably do cause emotional harm to victims of any crime or tragedy that is being mocked, celebrated, or is simply the topic of a discussion that shows little or no remorse for the victims or their families.

This brings me to my primary question: Should "hate speech" or "fringe" topics and opinions or beliefs be outlawed on the Internet simply because it causes emotional harm?

The question here is not whether it is right or wrong of someone to have insensitive, cruel, hateful, or fringe beliefs and opinions. The question is whether it is right or wrong to oppress that person's right to his or her insensitive, cruel, hateful, or fringe beliefs and opinions.

Personally, I find it wrong. People are not obligated to read this sort of content. They are not required to visit these types of sites. People who want to find and read this type of material are going to find and read this type of material. People who do not want to find and read this type of material are not going to find and read this type of material. There is a choice. The user is in control of what they see and don't see.

To sanitize every corner of the Internet to give us this false perception of reality that no human being wishes or celebrates hurt or death upon another human being does nothing to solve the problem; it only makes the people being silenced more radical in their beliefs and opinions.

What are your personal beliefs on this subject?

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 06:41 AM
There's nothing wrong with people expressing their thoughts and emotions. Sometimes, they are even right. Censorship is too slippery of a slope. Anger can be used to motivate people but the net tends to give people a chance to see things from multiple perspectives. That said, what is lacking the most in the world is that people do not simple value the personal benefits to themselves of "Honoring" other people. It might seem a bit off topic but Robert Menard is wonderful at making this concept clear.

All of the back stabbing, selfishness, meanness, etc.. only dishonors oneself. However, telling the truth is another matter but, for the most part, it is best done without judgment. Our job, so to say, is to assist in protecting the welfare of others by speaking the truth as we feel it to be.

posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 03:22 PM
Another great topic/thread NOM...

I'm in full agreement with your premise, i would even venture to say that it's never a good thing to repress any form of speech or idea... especially the angry ones.

When people are not allowed to express their anger verbally they have a tendency to lash out physically towards themselves or others... then we see them in the news. I'd much rather see them vent in a blog, and/or blow off some steam in a non-violent public way. A protest, parade, rally etc. At least this way we have the added benefit of noting the ring leaders.

In the case of the Phelps, it gives us a rare opportunity to understand some of the religious roots of intolerance. With such twisted points of view, you realize that the solution is not in censorship but in education.

To summarize my post, i think JFK said it best in a speech at the White House, 1962...

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

[edit on 19-1-2009 by The All Seeing I]


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