Freedom of Hate Speech on the Internet

Freedom of Hate Speech on the Internet

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Freedom of speech involves a serious responsibility and self-control as well as any other rights of civilized people. It is not a subjective point of view because it was proclaimed by the UN document. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, people have the right to freedom of opinion and expression, but freedom of speech includes special duties and responsibilities as well as it should be subject to certain restriction (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights). The main idea is that freedom of hate speech on the Internet should be restricted.

The Internet seems to be a territory of freedom of opinions, and public perceives with hostility any attempt to control this area. However, increased number of Internet users and a steady rise in the economic and political importance of the Internet have stimulated states to establish optimal regulatory mechanisms that fundamentally differ from the traditional means of communication and information. In Germany, Facebook, Google, and Twitter agreed to remove hate speech from their websites within 24 hours. It is a new step in the fight against online hate speech. Everything comes from the idea that the government tries to control social platforms and remove anti-foreigners’ comments addressed to refugees. Thus, a new agreement limits free speech in Germany when it comes to crimnal expressions and incitement to make criminal offenses that threaten people (Nasr).

From one point of view, racist comments were posted on the website Reddit after the Charleston church shooting provoked questions about freedom of speech. The website had an anti-censorship policy and the posts, which supported people charged with murdering worshipers in the church in Charleston were present on the website. One website user agreed with the deeds of the shooter and another person said that lives of black people "have no more value than the life of a flea or a tick" (Wendling). Unfortunately, despite shocking nature of the comments, they do not violate American law. The problem is that American law proclaims people’s ability to have a freedom of speech, express normal and radical views, and do not bother about negative influence of hate speech on the Internet (Wendling). In other words, freedom of speech has no limits in the U.S. and it is a problem when people express their radical points of view.

Restriction of access to information that violates social norms is relevant in democratic and authoritarian countries. The majority of population supports such restrictions, and international organizations consider such measures as a valid regulation of the Internet. However, some countries use the vague definition of "protection of socciety moral values" to impose censorship on the Internet content. The American government should follow European policy regarding freedom of hate speech on the Internet to deal with racism, extremism, and other hate speeches. The key idea is that hate speech has no place in our society - not even on the Internet, and special measures should be implemented in order to resolve this problem (Hamill).

On the other hand, it is believed that Facebook is under government pressure that wants to control discussion of the migrant crisis in Europe and Germany that does not relate to freedom of speech (Hamill). Everything derives from the idea that social media are a set of articles and opinions that cannot be changed. Social media fundamentally change this picture and nowadays the news feed on Facebook is a true media that fully reflects social interests; and nobody should be able to express negative points of view regarding the migrant crisis.

To summarize, the freedom of hate speech on the Internet should be restricted. Social media represent a great power of modern communications, and a huge number of people are unable to understand and use the information appropriately. International regulations proclaim that the freedom of speech can be restricted in certain cases and hate speech on the Internet is the problem that should be regulated.

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