Is hate speech free speech
EU case Lehideux and Isorni vs. France (ECtHR, 23rd September 1996). Hate speech is not a free speech Hate speech is a speech that is offensive and attacks other individuals based on certain attributes of these individuals. Hate speech attacks individuals based on their physical attributes and beliefs. Some of the factors that are often attacked by hate mongers include racial attributes, religious beliefs, sexuality, body size, gender orientation and disability. Citizens are protected to express their views through speech and other ways that are entrenched in the acts of the constitution. Like every right, there is also a limitation that is posed to individuals when exercising their freedoms and rights. The right of an individual should end where the nose of the other individual starts.
Therefore, hate speech should be regulated and should not be classified as free speech. Hate speech infringes on the rights of other individual hence it constraints the freedom of others. Stigmatization of individuals based on their inherent features and beliefs should not be considered as being free speech. Hate speech is immoral and should be appropriately controlled and legalized according to Alexander and Horton (1984). Personal development always requires freedom of expression which is often possible in an environment free from hate speech2. Therefore, hate speech is not a favorable condition for personal development and it cannot be considered to be a component of free speech. Cultural diversity is another center of argument that Alexander Brown draws his argument from. In America, the right and freedom of speech and expression are anchored expansively in the constitution and it was necessitated by the 1st amendment of the year 1791 and it encompasses hate speech.
The amendment imposed constraints on the congress and the executive from acting in a manner that will limit the freedom of press or the freedom of speech. American’s approach to hate speech since the first amendment is considered loose because the protectionist constitution require that speech be protected regardless of the contents of the speech. The focus of the constitution is on the speech and not on the content of the speech. The United States constitution focus on protecting speech because it was believed by the drafters of the 1st amendment that the speech was what is in play for the minority group. 582 commonly referred to as the “Slants” case brought to the supreme court of the United States laid clear what the 1st amendment implied when it comes to hate speech and free speech.
The Supreme Court in their ruling protected free speech as it is entrenched in the constitution3. The Patent and Trademark office had denied to register the name of the band arguing that the name was an abusive term that was used to refer to Asian-Americans. The name “Slants” is used to refer to the Asian-Americans. The Patent office held the position that the name was abusive. Article 17 on the other side protect against holocaust denial and issues related to questioning of historical facts of given individuals in the European region. These facts were clarified under the case Lehideux and Isorni vs. France (ECtHR, 23rd September 1996). The two articles therefore draws the line between hate speech and free speech. This therefore makes valid the argument that hate speech is not a free speech.
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