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Which of the following statements is true? Check all that apply.
There is no uniform definition of ’hate speech’ under international human rights law, rather, it is a broad concept which captures a wide range of expression
Speech that criticises the government, the nation or the flag is hate speech.
Hate speech is not just spoken. It can be written or visual and we might see or hear it in print, on TV, on the radio or on the internet.
Hate speech targets people because of who they are. This includes but isn't limited to their race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, migrant or refugee status, language or sexual orientation.
Question 1 Explanation:
Speech that targets ideas, governments, nations, flags or religions is not hate speech. Hate speech targets people because of who they are.
Why must we protect expression that is unpopular, offensive or even discriminatory?
Such expression does not necessarily or automatically amount to hate speech. Prohibiting such expression prevents people from exchanging ideas and learning from each other.
We should never protect unpopular, offensive or discriminatory speech. We need to ban or censor this.
Speech against the nation, questioning religious ideas or criticising the government is not hate speech even if it is unpopular or offensive to some. Such speech is extremely important because it allows us to hold those in power accountable.
Unpopular views may come from marginalised or vulnerable groups. Too readily restricting such views can curb marginalised groups' right to free expression.
Question 2 Explanation:
Simply banning hate speech does not address why people use it. All responses must be rooted in tackling the bias, prejudice or intolerance behind such speech. Broad or vague bans on expression can also sweep up dissent or criticism of those in power. We need to be careful that legitimate speech is not banned.
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