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Free Speech and Hate Speech

Howard, JW; (2019) Free Speech and Hate Speech. Annual Review of Political Science , 22 pp. 93-109. 10.1146/annurev-polisci-051517-012343. Green open access

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Abstract

Should hate speech be banned? This article contends that the debate on this question must be disaggregated into discrete analytical stages, lest its participants continue to talk past one another. The first concerns the scope of the moral right to freedom of expression, and whether hate speech falls within the right's protective ambit. If it does, hate speech bans are necessarily unjust. If not, we turn to the second stage, which assesses whether speakers have moral duties to refrain from hate speech. The article canvasses several possible duties from which such a duty could be derived, including duties not to threaten, harass, offend, defame, or incite. If there is a duty to refrain from hate speech, it is yet a further question whether the duty should actually be enforced. This third stage depends on pragmatic concerns involving epistemic fallibility, the abuse of state power, and the benefits of counter-speech over coercion.

Type: Article
Title: Free Speech and Hate Speech
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-polisci-051517-012343
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-polisci-051517-012...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: free speech, hate speech, autonomy, democracy, defamation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10075641
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