Department of Journalism
Religious intolerance manifests itself periodically in ways that test democracies' commitment to freedom of expression. Responding to this challenge requires a conceptual clarity that is often lacking. This article proposes a corrective lens in the form of a new concept, hate spin. Hate spin absorbs the familiar concept of hate speech, or incitement, and combines it with the less understood strategy of offense-taking or manufactured indignation. The two sides of hate spin—incitement and offense-taking—are used by political entrepreneurs to mobilize supporters and coerce targeted groups. Incitement may warrant legal intervention, but censorship is a counterproductive response to offense. The article explicates the concept of hate spin, identifies its key characteristics, and suggests directions for further research.
Freedom of Expression, Hate Speech, Incitement, Offense, Religion
Source Publication Title
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: George, C. (2017), Hate Spin: The Twin Political Strategies of Religious Incitement and Offense-Taking. Commun Theor, 27: 156–175. doi:10.1111/comt.12111, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/comt.12111. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Link to Publisher's Edition
George, C. (2017). Hate spin: The twin political strategies of religious incitement and offense-taking. Communication Theory, 27 (2), 156-175. https://doi.org/10.1111/comt.12111