Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Journalism

Language

English

Abstract

As democracies try to manage the risks arising from religious vilification, questions are being raised about free speech and its limits. This article clarifies key issues in that debate. It centers on the phenomenon of “hate spin”—the giving or taking of offense as a political strategy. Any policy response must try to distinguish between incitement to actual harms and expression that becomes the object of manufactured indignation. An analysis of the use of hate spin by right-wing groups in India and the United States demonstrates that laws against incitement, while necessary, are insufficient for dealing with highly organized hate campaigns. As for laws against offense, these are counterproductive, because they tend to empower the most intolerant sections of society.

Keywords

hate speech, incitement, offense, freedom of expression, censorship, India, United States, First Amendment

Publication Date

2016

Volume

10

Issue

2016

Start Page

2955

End Page

2972

Publisher

University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Peer Reviewed

1

Copyright

Copyright © 2016 (Cherian George). Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd). Available at http://ijoc.org.

Funder

Overseas fieldwork was made possible by a Hong Kong Baptist University faculty research grant.

Link to Publisher's Edition

http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/5451/1688

ISSN (print)

19328036

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